Clarks hires Porter Novelli for wide-ranging brief after three-way pitch

Clarks, the UK-based international shoe manufacturer and retailer, has hired Porter Novelli for a new, wide-ranging corporate communications brief.

Clarks partnered with Disney for a recent Avengers: Infinity War promotion
Clarks partnered with Disney for a recent Avengers: Infinity War promotion

PRWeek understands that Porter Novelli beat teams from Edelman and Weber Shandwick in the final round of pitching.

The scope of the retained account includes proactive corporate storytelling around the brand’s transformation strategy. This includes the upcoming launch of a new manufacturing facility in Street, Somerset, where production of the brand's desert boots will return to the UK. The brief also covers crisis comms.

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Porter Novelli declined to comment on the appointment but, according to a recent Clarks press release, the account is being led by associate director Gordon Carver in the agency’s London office.

Portas, the comms agency founded by retail consultant and broadcaster Mary Portas, worked with Clarks in the UK for 17 years before its brief was made global in 2015. While that the account was different to that now held by Porter Novelli, PRWeek has learned that Portas no longer works with Clarks.

Last month, Clarks partnered with Disney for a promotion around the release of the film Avengers: Infinity War, launching a set of four limited-edition pairs of shoes based on the characters of Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America and Black Widow.

In 2017 Clarks was accused of sexism for naming a girl's school shoe "Dolly Babe" while naming the boy's shoe "Leader" - it later pulled the former.

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