Double blow for Edelman as Starbucks shifts UK & France consumer work

Edelman's hold on its Starbucks relationship across Europe has weakened after the global coffee giant shifted work in both the UK and France to new agencies.

Starbucks UK: Bringing in 3 Monkeys and Cavendish
Starbucks UK: Bringing in 3 Monkeys and Cavendish

The company has moved a wide-ranging UK consumer brief to a partnership of 3 Monkeys and Cavendish Place Communications in a pitch shoot-out that involved the incumbent of five years.

In France, meanwhile, Grayling has been handed Edelman’s consumer PR work after a pitch process, though the latter agency will continue to look after public affairs and corporate work. 

The shifts will not affect Edelman’s status as Starbucks' global partner and role providing strategic direction across Starbuck's European hub, with key of which include markets such as Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands, as well as France.

From the start of next month, 3 Monkeys will look after UK consumer and local corporate campaigns, while Cavendish will handle local stakeholder and public affairs activity.

RLM Finsbury will continue handle Starbuck's government affairs and corporate relations on the national level in the UK.

Starbucks is set to open 100 more stores in the UK over this year despite recording a fall in UK annual sales last year to £399m from £413m the year before, when it was involved in controversy over its tax affairs.

It is understood that an on-the-ground, localised comms approach by 3 Monkeys and Cavendish partnership was key in Starbucks' decision to award it the UK brief, which is thought to be worth around £250,000.  

A spokesman for Starbucks said: "We’re excited to be working with a group of world-class communications agencies as we grow our business in Europe."

Angie Moxham, CEO and founder of 3 Monkeys, said: "Starbucks is about as big a brand as they come, so it’s fair to say we are hugely excited to have won the brief, working alongside our friends at Cavendish.

"We will revisit Howard Schultz’s vision to ‘inspire and nurture the human spirit: one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time’. We will create end-to-end stories about Starbucks, across corporate, trade and consumer, to create a rich narrative that will drive brand appraisal and engagement."

Alex Challoner, MD and founder of Cavendish, added: "We’re really excited to support Starbucks engagement with local and regional stakeholders and doing this alongside 3 Monkeys is a bonus."

Edelman has not yet responded to a request for comment. 

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