HUDSON, OH: Toymaker Little Tikes has hired Weber Shandwick Worldwide as its agency of record for what's likely to be a mid-six-figure account in terms of annual fees.
WSW's Chicago office beat out finalists Marc USA and Porter Novelli for the account.
Little Tikes selected WSW because of its experience reaching mothers of young children through work on such accounts as the milk moustache campaign and Campbell's Soup, said Laurie Yingling, communications and event marketing manager at Little Tikes.
WSW's Interpublic Group affiliation with McCann-Erickson, Little Tikes' ad agency, also figured into the decision. Little Tikes is planning a major ad campaign in the fourth quarter, said Yingling. "There was some strong synergy there, she added.
The toy company had used agencies on occasion in the past, but wanted to step up its use of PR. It sent out an RFP in May to seven agencies, and then narrowed the field to three finalists.
"Our new management is very much in tune with marketing and meeting moms, and they are challenging me to find our consumers wherever they are, Yingling said.
Little Tikes and its parent company, Newell Rubbermaid, have each gotten new top managers in the past year and a half.
WSW will handle a full range of PR assignments for Little Tikes, including working on the annual toy fair in New York. "They're going to help us get in front of as many people as possible, Yingling said.
WSW's Chicago office has put three people on the account to start. "We really wanted to get this business, said Virginia Devlin, a VP with WSW in Chicago. "We're talking to moms all the time. Our office is very consumer focused."