CHICAGO: Edelman created the K Group Public Relations Company, an agency dedicated exclusively to its new Kellogg account, to avoid potential client conflicts, particularly those with the PepsiCo Quaker brands.
Kellogg wanted to ensure the agency it selected was fully committed to leading PR efforts for its US brands, said Matthew Harrington, CEO of Edelman US. The agency conceptualized the K Group idea mainly to avoid any issues with its Quaker brand clients, he added.
“We have a wonderful, longstanding relationship with PepsiCo and Quaker, so we definitely wanted to be certain that we respected that,” said Harrington.
Kellogg had initially selected Weber Shandwick and sister agency Current Lifestyle Marketing to lead PR for its US brands in October, but the agencies had to resign their roles due to possible conflicts within the Interpublic Group holding company.
Although Edelman has not finalized all plans for the new agency yet, Harrington said K Group will be headquartered in Chicago in a separate space from Edelman or sister agency Zeno Group.
K Group will have “a separate infrastructure from every respect,” including email addresses ending in KGroup.com, rather than Edelman.com or ZenoGroup.com.
Initially, the K Group team will consist of six staffers, with the core members coming from Edelman or Zeno, but the firm plans to expand it.
“My hope is that we'll be hiring,” said Harrington.