WESTPORT, CT: Playtex Products has selected GolinHarris as its AOR for North America, following a competitive review. The brand issued an RFP in the spring as part of an effort to upgrade its external marketing capability, explained Julie Elkinton, VP of marketing for Playtex North America.
The brand, which was acquired by Energizer Holdings in 2007, includes Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat suncare, Playtex feminine care and infant care, Diaper Genie, Wet Ones, and Playtex Gloves.
The agency will provide marketing communications, social media, and crisis communications services for all of the Playtex products.
Following its acquisition, “there have been a lot of changes so it was a look at how do we build an agency bench-strength to take our marketing to our next level," she said. "PR was a critical piece of that.”
Working with an external PR consultant, the company had invited 20 agencies to pitch for the business and then narrowed it down to six finalists. Cohn & Wolfe, which had worked with the company for a number of years, though not as AOR, was involved in the pitch, according to Elkinton. The company chose firms, ranging from large to boutique, that exhibited experience with the brand's varied consumer targets, she added.
“We recognize the growing importance of social media, word-of-mouth, and traditional outreach programs,” said Elkinton. “Also, for us, we operate in categories where there's a lot more external influence, whether it's industry groups or NGOs, so we needed a partner to help us on that front outside of traditional brand marketing.”
Jennifer Cohan, MD for Golin's New York office, explained that the agency is currently focusing on corporate communications and developing strategic programs for the individual brands that include both traditional PR and social media. Elkinton added that the agency is also working on a strategic planning process that includes identifying and tracking trends.
C&W declined to comment.