LONDON: Sharp Electronics has consolidated its consumer and b-to-b communications relationships across Western Europe under Kaizo, and it appointed its first corporate communications manager to oversee the region.
The move comes shortly after Sharp split its US PR account between Kwittken & Company and Peppercomm. Kwittken is handling consumer work for the electronics brand, while Peppercomm is overseeing b-to-b. Both accounts were previously held by Ketchum, which Sharp hired in April 2011.
The European brief covers Sharp's entire portfolio of consumer electronics, home appliances, visual solutions, document solutions, and solar.
Kaizo will develop a strategy for the brand based on innovation, moving away from previous product-focused activity towards promoting Sharp's lifestyle and business benefits.
After winning the business in a pitch, the UK-based agency will work with newly appointed European corporate comms manager Ingrid Helderman, previously Sharp's head of PR for Benelux.
It will also handle content development, social media integration, press office duties, media relations, and campaigns across the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Benelux, and the Nordics.
Kaizo will work with a range of agencies in its Worldcom partner network to implement campaigns in local markets, including HBI in Germany, Yucatan in France, LF Channel in Spain, Wisse in the Netherlands, and Oxenstierna & Partners in Stockholm.
Communications duties were previously split among multiple agencies in different territories and business sectors, with no single UK incumbent. Sharp's team of PR managers that handles specific regions in Europe remains in place.
Edelman will continue to handle Eastern European PR, while Sharp's in-house team in its home market of Japan retains management of corporate communications.
“Our aim is to communicate with one consistent voice, while maintaining a personal touch at a local level,” said Helderman.
Kaizo MD Rhodri Harries added that “despite its size globally and its heritage, we see Sharp very much as a challenger brand today, so we will be developing campaigns with this in mind.”
The move comes after Sharp reported an operating profit of $151 million in its most recent business period.
This story originally appeared on the website of PRWeek UK, the sister publication of PRWeek at Haymarket Media.