LOS ANGELES: A newly formed California-state board charged with promoting Haas avocados has chosen Fleishman-Hillard to handle its consumer PR.
The account is valued at "nearly $500,000" annually, according to Haas Avocado Board president and CEO Mark Affleck, and was not put out for a competitive pitch. Formed in April 2003, the board began its promotional programs on November 1.
"We have absolutely no luxury of lead time," said Affleck of choosing Fleishman for the job. "We needed someone who had enough familiarity with agricultural issues to step in from day one. It's not as if we have a year to hang out and get started."
Fleishman's offices in Sacramento and Los Angeles will handle the account, according to Fleishman SVP and partner Janet Greenlee. She added that upcoming efforts will focus on the use of avocados in snack foods during gatherings for major events like the Super Bowl, and that the campaign will also feature a strong Hispanic-market component.
The new Haas Avocado Board is affiliated with the California Avocado Commission, an Irvine, CA-based organization charged with promoting avocados in general on behalf of the state's 6,000 growers, who fund its operation. The new board was deemed necessary because imports of avocados have dramatically increased over the past few years. The Haas Avocado Board is funded by a levy placed on all avocados, both imports and those grown domestically.
"It's embracing everyone who is selling," explained Greenlee of the new organization.