Ikea brings on APCO as corporate comms AOR

The Swedish retailer has picked APCO Worldwide to handle corporate communications after a review. Lippe Taylor was the incumbent.

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA: Ikea US has selected APCO Worldwide as its corporate communications AOR after a competitive review.

The company chose APCO out of a selection of “major communications firms” that participated in the RFP process, said Mona Astra Liss, US corporate PR director at Ikea.

APCO will support Ikea's corporate communications disciplines, including corporate PR, crisis communications, and stakeholder relations.

Lippe Taylor was the incumbent on the account. Ikea re-hired Lippe Taylor as corporate AOR in 2012, after a review that included 12 large agencies. The firm worked with Ikea for seven years total. 

Ikea initially looked at a dozen agencies in the first round of the review, while the final round only included “a couple” of firms, said Liss. She declined to name the other shops that competed.

Liss said that APCO fit all of the company's corporate communications needs, and that Ikea also liked the firm's camaraderie and culture.

The length and budget of the account were not disclosed.

For 2012, Ikea reported 9.5% growth in worldwide sales, year-over-year, to $35.9 billion. The company's profit for last year increased 8%, compared with the year before, to $4.3 billion. 

Blythe Reiss, senior director and head of the food and consumer products practice in North America at APCO, is leading the account.

In addition to servicing Ikea's corporate brand in the US, its goal is to make sure the firm speaks to the company's ethos, said Nelson Fernandez, MD of APCO's New York office.

“This is a very humble and thoughtful culture, and we want to be able to provide them with everything they need but always being mindful of who they are as a brand,” he added.

Reiss said the review was an innovative process with a creative exercise that required “thinking on your feet with really no preparation, and that's how Ikea [figured out] competency.” The firm also included Ikea's staffers in its plan, said Fernandez.

“We wanted to show that we were very much in sync with who they are as a brand,” he explained.

In July, Ikea selected BWP Primal to handle integrated marketing campaigns combining experiential, PR, and social media in the UK. 

“We had an incredible seven-year partnership with Ikea, and they were looking for a large global agency with a very dedicated crisis communications team,” said Maureen Lippe, CEO of the eponymous firm. “We wish them well in the future.” 

This story was updated on August 28 with more information about Ikea's relationship with Lippe Taylor.

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