Troubled Smurfit-Stone names Slack Barshinger agency of record

CHICAGO: Financially troubled container manufacturer Smurfit-Stone has picked Slack Barshinger & Partners as its agency of record to handle PR and marketing.

CHICAGO: Financially troubled container manufacturer Smurfit-Stone has picked Slack Barshinger & Partners as its agency of record to handle PR and marketing.

How much PR will be involved is still being determined, but the agency's first PR assignment will be garnering trade media attention for the company at a major upcoming packaging show.

Last year, Smurfit-Stone saw a 5% drop in sales to $8.38 billion, as demand for the packaging and container board it makes dropped in the recession.

Irish company Jefferson Smurfit Group holds a 30% stake in the company, and has said it will either merge with Smurfit-Stone or divest its interests in the US operation. Its holding in the US company has been viewed as a drag on its stock price.

Smurfit-Stone is expected to miss Q1 estimates when it announces earnings this week.

Slack Barshinger is a $5.8 million integrated marketing company. Between 20% and 25% of revenues come from PR. It recently promoted partner Gary Slack to chairman and CEO so he could work more closely with key clients, and work on bringing in new business.

Don Barshinger became president and CEO, Slack's old role. Barshinger had overseen the agency's creative operation.

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