Claremont lands bottled water PR retainer amid schools drive

The Natural Hydration Council, a non-profit organisation backed by bottled water producers, has awarded a retainer to Claremont Communications as it invests in advocating water to schoolchildren.

Natural Hydration Council: Focusing on encouraging children to drink water
Natural Hydration Council: Focusing on encouraging children to drink water

The council is encouraging children to make water their first choice for hydration in the school day through an initiative called ‘Wise up with Water’, which it is running with the Children’s Food Trust, a charity campaigning for healthier food.

The push comes ahead of the January 2015 introduction of new standards for school food that will bring in greater restrictions on drinks other than water and milk.

Claremont is the third PR agency that the NHC, which is funded by firms including Danone Waters and Highland Spring, has turned to since its formation in 2008 amid an environmental backlash that helped turn UK bottled water sales downwards.

Sales by volume have since increased from 2.01 million litres in 2008 to 2.36 million litres in 2013, according to figures from Zenith International.

Claremont takes over from Pegasus, which worked on a retainer between January 2012 and January 2014 as well as kicking off the ‘Wise up with Water’ project in the past few months.

The new agency’s brief includes media relations and event management for the ‘Wise up’ initiative, which will involve children’s TV presenter Stefan Gates making appearances at a number of schools.

It will also include initiatives focused on other themes than children’s health, such as the importance of water in exercise and pregnancy.

According to NHC general manager Kinvara Carey, Claremont beat pitches from two health-focused PR agencies with a "different, more strategic and long-term approach".

Simon Francis, director at Claremont, said: "Our work with the NHC will help educate the public and encourage the media to portray water consumption in a positive light."

Last week Claremont carried off the Specialist Consultancy of the Year prize at the PRWeek UK Awards 2014.

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