NEW YORK: Piaggio Group USA consolidated the PR functions for its four major brands to one agency by naming Brandware AOR for Vespa and Piaggio scooters and Aprilia and Moto Guzzi motorcycle brands. Prior to the consolidation, Access Communications worked on the Piaggio and Vespa brands, and Brandware handled PR for Aprilia and Moto Guzzi.
"We were dealing with two different companies, and we found that it just wasn't efficient," said Kevin Andrews, Piaggio/Vespa brand manager. He said Brandware's experience prompted the company to select it as the sole agency. Andrews declined to state the contract amount, but said the agency will be evaluated on the sales, media coverage, and buzz it generates.
PR efforts will focus on transportation, lifestyle, and fashion media for product launches and to increase brand awareness. The Vespa brand will also continue its Vespanomics initiative, which touts the role scooters play in reducing energy consumption and traffic congestion.
Last June, Piaggio awarded Access a one-year renewable contract after a competitive bid with Piaggio's former incumbent AOR, CooperKatz. About six months later, Piaggio says, it began to discuss consolidation.
The move to consolidate was not related to the departure of Mike Kull, former VP of marketing at Piaggio Group USA, earlier this year, Andrews noted.
"We knew that's the direction Vespa wanted to go in and supported it," said Brian Regan, GM of Access' New York office.
Brandware deferred to Piaggio for comment.