Michelin North America picks Weber Shandwick as PR AOR

Omnicom firm Ketchum was the incumbent on the account.

GREENVILLE, SC: Michelin North America has selected Weber Shandwick as PR AOR in place of incumbent Ketchum.

Following a comprehensive review process, Interpublic Group’s Weber officially starts working with the tire manufacturing company on July 1. The firm will be responsible for Michelin North America’s corporate, B2B and consumer PR across the U.S., according to a release.

Paul Jensen, president of Weber Shandwick’s corporate practice in North America, will lead the account out of the firm’s New York office and draw on additional team members across Weber’s network, including its automotive team in Detroit.

Earlier this year, Buick and GMC selected Weber Shandwick as their PR AOR, reuniting the Interpublic Group agency with the two General Motors brands.

In March, PRWeek reported that Michelin was putting its PR AOR account in North America up for review.

"Michelin North America is engaged in a confidential review process to evaluate agencies of record for its PR practice in the U.S.," said external communications director Eric Bruner at the time, adding that Ketchum participated in the review.

In a statement Monday, Bruner noted that Michelin "extends its appreciation and gratitude to the incumbent team at Ketchum for their award-winning and market-leading support since 2011."

In a statement to PRWeek, Ketchum said, "We have enjoyed a strong relationship with Michelin for the past eight years, and in particular we are proud of the impact we’ve made in the area of teen driving safety, which was recently named the best campaign of the year by the Public Relations Society of America and shortlisted for a Cannes PR Lion. We’re grateful for the incredible partnership we have enjoyed over the years, and we wish Michelin great success in the years to come." 

Michelin North America and Ketchum's campaign, Teens Prove their #StreetTread, won the PRWeek Award this year for Best in Corporate Social Responsibility.

In 2016, Ketchum’s campaign for Michelin called Beyond the Driving Test won the PRWeek Award for Community Relations Campaign of the Year.

At the end of April, Michelin reported higher Q1 sales, helped by its recent acquisitions of the Camso and Fenner businesses, and the French tire-maker stuck to its 2019 financial guidance for a rise in annual, underlying profits. Sales rose 11.3% from a year earlier to $6.5 billion, according to CNBC.

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