Golin/Harris International wins US Cotton Council PR

Golin/Harris International has won a mammoth world-wide pitch worth an estimated seven figures to handle international PR for the US's Cotton Council International.

The CCI, which represents the National Cotton Council of America internationally, ran a two-stage, four-week pitch to find a global PR agency.

After an initial phase featuring nine agencies, the pitch was narrowed down to IPG firms Weber Shandwick and Golin/Harris International.

Barry Leggetter, deputy MD for Golin/Harris London, and leader of the European pitch, said the process featured a roadshow where teams from Golin/Harris in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Bogota and Washington DC, presented on how they would handle PR in their areas of global responsibility.

Golin/Harris will now design an international PR campaign for the CCI, tasked with increasing US exports of cotton, cottonseed and cotton products, as well as forming an overall brand strategy.

A major challenge will be raising the brand awareness of American cotton in Europe, where it has traditionally been weak, compared to Asia or South America, and stressing cotton's advantages as a natural fibre.

In Europe, Leggetter will lead a six-strong team and liaise with Nicole Dunlop, CCI marketing manager for Europe. The UK, Italy and Germany will be the main markets targeted, though Leggetter said the list would expand with time.

Ellen Ryan Mardiks, Golin/ Harris's Chicago-based worldwide director for international marketing & brand strategy, will oversee the global account.

As well as representing cotton textile manufacturers, the CCI also represents other segments of the industry throughout the supply chain, including producers and processors.

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