FAIRFAX, VA: Serta Simmons Bedding has named ICF Next as its PR AOR, working across its entire brand portfolio made up of Beautyrest, Serta, Simmons and Tuft & Needle.
The agency is working to ensure Serta Simmons brands are top-of-mind with consumers through “breakthrough activations that drive earned reach and tap into popular culture, as well as supporting major sales-driving moments throughout the year,” said Serta Simmons CMO Melanie Huet.
ICF Next will also work with the company’s corporate communications team on thought leadership and help it to launch its first CSR program.
“ICF Next is really good in the social media space with social listening and jumping on agile opportunities,” said Huet. “That was one of the primary reasons for making the choice.”
The shop has also supported Serta Simmons Bedding’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The company is donating 10,000 mattresses to relief efforts.
“They helped us think through the strategy behind that,” said Huet, who joined the company early last year. “We decided to focus our efforts on the New York City market. Those mattresses will start shipping to [New York State Governor] Andrew Cuomo’s office on Monday.”
ICF Next’s team on the account is made up of 15 people from the consumer and corporate groups in the agency’s Chicago and Minneapolis offices, led by Rebekah Gustin, a partner in the Minneapolis office. Budget information was not disclosed.
The firm’s appointment marks the first time that Serta Simmons Bedding has worked with a single PR agency across its entire brand portfolio. Until late last year, Hunter worked with Beautyrest and Zeno Group was responsible for Serta. PR for the company’s other brands was done in-house.
Huet decided against a formal RFP process and said that she was “impressed” with ICF Next when she worked with the firm in her previous role as VP of marketing for beverage, snacks and nuts at Kraft Heinz.
Huet added that when she evaluated the PR firms in place, none of them fit all of her criteria. “We realized we had a need for one PR agency to work across the entire corporation,” she said. “It provides a lot of efficiencies, and we are moving forward with more corporate-wide initiatives, so it was simpler to have one agency.”
Huet added that Serta Simmons Bedding was “pleased” with work from Hunter and Zeno and called both firms “great partners.”
“We are proud of the work we did with Serta and wish them success going forward,” Zeno Group said in an emailed statement. Hunter declined to comment.