Fleishman wins Build-A-Bear account, appoints director of brand

FleishmanHillard Fishburn (FHF) brand team has won the Build-A-Bear UK PR account to build the US retailer's brand awareness in the UK.

The firm has appointed Lesley Anderson as a director of brand to lead the strategy.

The new win for the team’s leisure and lifestyle team includes handling the brand’s UK press office, and offering PR support during key dates including National Teddy Bear Day, National Hugging Day and Christmas.

The account also includes building the profile of Build-A-Bear’s CEO Sharon Price John with UK media.

Build-A-Bear has more than 50 stores across the UK, and 400 worldwide, which offer a live workshop experience for customers to create their own customised stuffed toy. It’s global revenue in 2017 was $357.9m.

The business has slashed its advertising budget by 24% in the past two years, from $25.3m in 2015 to $19m in 2017.

Recent brand activity has included Build-A-Bear’s Pay Your Age Day, and a charity donation of 5,000 bears to the NSPCC on National Teddy Bear Day on 9 September.

Lesley Anderson

The account will be headed up by Anderson (above), who will report into FHF head of brand and consumer marketing for EMEA, Lauren Winter.

Anderson told PRWeek: "The primary focus will be on building brand affinity with UK consumers by driving awareness around its products and retail offerings during key sales periods such as holiday season and National Hugging Day on 21 January."

Anderson will work across clients including Crocs, Singapore Airlines, Krispy Kreme, Dorco, Colief and Gardena.

She has previously worked as an associate director at Ogilvy PR, Taylor Herring and Porter Novelli for brands including Google, TK Maxx and Bacardi.

Winter said: "Lesley is a top talent, bringing brilliant expertise to the team. She is a natural-born editor who understands the media landscape, boosting the London consumer practice as we continue to grow our roster of stellar brand names."

A six-strong team from FleishmanHillard’s US office in St Louis worked with Build-A-Bear in 2017 on comms around its 20th anniversary celebrations in the US, Canada and UK.

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