John Doe expands to US with NY office, Illy Caffe win

NEW YORK: UK-based communications agency John Doe has entered the US market with a New York office and coffee brand Illy Caffe as its launch client in North America.

NEW YORK: UK-based communications agency John Doe has entered the US market with a New York office and coffee brand Illy Caffe as its launch client in North America. 

The firm, which was founded by Rana Reeves, former creative director at Shine Communications, in 2009, was selected as AOR for Illy in North America after a review. Illy representatives were unavailable for comment. 

Cohn & Wolfe is Illy's global PR agency partner, and 360 Public Relations handles the company's corporate work in North America.

For Illy, the agency is using an integrated approach of social media, media outreach, events, and blogger engagement to increase brand awareness and promote products, said Reeves. He added that John Doe engaged New York-based digital agency The 88 to collaborate on efforts for Illy. 

“[Illy Caffe has] a history of innovation, both in terms of their history as a company and the sort of people they work with, so they're very comfortable with an agency that wants to innovate and they're giving us some space to grow,” he explained. 

The firm is also helping Illy plan for its 20th anniversary, which will take place next year, said Reeves. 

Global publicity director Meena Khera and executive director Adam Thomas, the former global head of PR at luxury mobile company Vertu, are leading the New York office. Thomas will move to the US from London in a few months, Reeves said.

Pete Chipchase, the former associate director at Mission Media, is also working in the New York office as director, and Reeves will split his time between London and the US.

“Our goal is to really bring something different to the US market around the way brands interact in culture, both popular and contemporary,” Reeves said. “What I see here is a real hunger for change, a different style of campaign, and a different style of agency, and I'm hoping that's what we'll bring to the table.”

In addition to working with Illy Caffe, John Doe's New York office is providing PR support in the US for projects with global clients W Hotels, Pernod Ricard, and production company In-House Series. The agency also handles pro bono cultural content for the Dalai Lama from its New York office.

The firm's London office works with clients such as Chivas Regal, UK Absolut, Adidas, and General Motors, which is known as Vauxhall Motors in the UK.

The firm also does work for clients in other countries, such as France, Turkey, and Brazil, and it is planning to open a West Coast office in the near future.

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