McCormick & Co. enlists WS as consumer unit AOR

CHICAGO: McCormick & Co. has named Weber Shandwick AOR for its US consumer products division through 2008.

CHICAGO: McCormick & Co. has named Weber Shandwick AOR for its US consumer products division through 2008.

Laurie Harrsen, director of consumer communications for the division, said WS will provide PR support for current initiatives, as well as a number of brands added to its product portfolio in the past few years.

"We're still in the very initial [planning] stages," Harrsen said. "There are a couple of initiatives that will launch in 2007, and we're currently deep in 2008 planning."

Cathy Calhoun, president of WS' Chicago office, noted that the firm will also help McCormick leverage its "leadership [role] as the flavor expert among consumers, culinary professionals, and food influencers, both online and offline."

Harrsen would not reveal who handled the business previously, although she did say that firm did not take part in the pitch process. WS competed against five mid- to large-size agencies in the final pitch.

Calhoun said Aaryn Enos, VP of the food/culinary group, will lead the account out of WS' Chicago office - its food and nutrition business "hub."

McCormick doesn't currently have a global AOR. When asked if WS could eventually become its global AOR, Harrsen replied, "Anything's a possibility, right?"

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