Porter Novelli wins Panasonic Consumer Electronics AOR pact

Incumbent Cohn & Wolfe stopped working with the company in March.

NEWARK, NJ: Panasonic Consumer Electronics has brought on Porter Novelli as its PR AOR in the U.S.

Porter is handling consumer-facing communications for Panasonic’s electronic lines, including the beauty and grooming, home appliance, imaging, and home entertainment product portfolios.

The firm is working on the brand’s just-signed partnership with the New York Yankees. Last week, Panasonic’s men’s grooming products division was named the "official shavers and trimmers of the New York Yankees" for the 2017-2019 Major League Baseball seasons. The products will be branded within Yankee Stadium, in stores, and online.

"Porter is helping us work on a media event for [the Yankees partnership] that is coming up next week," said Dan Unger, PR manager for Panasonic Consumer Electronics.

Panasonic Consumer Electronics is a division of Panasonic of North America, the Japanese conglomerate’s principal North American subsidiary. The company’s U.S. consumer product lines include Blu-ray players, Lumix digital cameras, camcorders, home audio, cordless phones, home appliances, beauty, grooming, wellness, and personal care.

"All these areas are important and are all operating together, but are also somewhat diverse because they don’t always sit together," said Unger. "That’s a challenge [Porter is helping us with]."

Porter EVP Katherine Wetzel is leading the account. Budget information was not disclosed.

Newark, New Jersey-based Panasonic Consumer Electronics selected Porter at the end of April, following a competitive search. Eight firms pitched in the RFP process, including incumbent Cohn & Wolfe, which began in January.

Cohn & Wolfe stopped working with Panasonic at the end of March. When asked why Panasonic Consumer Electronics decided to bring on a different PR firm, Unger said it was just time to do an RFP.

"Cohn & Wolfe did a great job for us; we were very happy with them," he added.

Earlier this year, Panasonic System Communications of North America selected Racepoint Global as PR AOR for its mobility business, which includes its Toughbook and Toughpad product lines, Rugged laptops, tablets, two-in-one, and handheld devices. Cohn & Wolfe was also the incumbent on that work, but did not re-pitch. The WPP firm is no longer working with Panasonic on any part of its communications business, Unger said.

A Cohn & Wolfe representative was not immediately available for comment.

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