Underwriters Laboratories names H+K global AOR

NORTHBROOK, IL: Product safety testing and certification company Underwriters Laboratories has selected Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its global PR AOR following a competitive review.

NORTHBROOK, IL: Product safety testing and certification company Underwriters Laboratories has selected Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its global PR AOR following a competitive review.

UL chose the WPP Group firm from a group of four agencies. Michelle Press, global marketing communications manager at the company, declined to name the other firms.

MSLGroup, UL's incumbent agency, did not pitch again for the business.

H+K began working with the company on Monday. A team based in Chicago is leading the account, with assistance from the agency's offices in China, India, and Japan.

“[H+K] has good insight already into our organization, which I think is going to be helpful when we're reaching out to key stakeholders,” Press said.

H+K's duties include communications counsel, external and media relations, and thought leadership, said agency EVP Claire Koeneman.

“[UL] has such a legacy and a history. It's a wonderful brand, and they've got great intellectual property and thought leadership pieces,” she added.

While a budget was not disclosed, Koeneman said it is a large account for the agency. When MSL won the business in May 2011, industry sources told PRWeek that the account was valued in the mid-seven-figure range. Prior to MSL, the company had worked with GolinHarris.

UL also works with a number of marketing agencies, such as New York-based firm MBLM, Press said.

MSL had handled UL's global PR account since May 2011, when the company consolidated its PR agency roster. MSL had already managed consumer marketing efforts in North America for the company, including social media, media buying, and digital advertising.

UL has five business units: product safety, environment, life and health, knowledge services, and verification services. It operates a network of 95 laboratory, testing, and certification facilities.

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