Zeno named global AOR for robotic vacuum maker Neato

The company cited Zeno’s work with challenger brands.

Photo credit: Neato Robotics
Photo credit: Neato Robotics

REDWOOD CITY, CA: Robotic vacuum maker Neato Robotics has named Zeno Group as its global PR AOR.

Neither Neato nor Zeno would detail initiatives or activations they are collaborating on, but both said the firm is helping Neato develop an integrated campaign. 

“[It] highlights the premium innovation Neato is known for driving,” said Zeno MD Todd Irwin. “While the strategy does emphasize basic building blocks like product reviews and seasonal opportunities, upcoming campaigns will focus on more creative expressions of Neato’s innovation.”

Zeno declined to disclose the size of the team working on the Neato business or who is leading work. The account will be led by the firm’s Silicon Valley office with staffers from Europe, Chicago and Santa Monica, California. 

Zeno won the six-figure, year-long contract after competing in an RFP process that began last November and it signed the deal at the end of February. The company invited six agencies to pitch, said Kriselle Laran, Neato’s head of global marketing communications, via email. Neato chose Zeno after narrowing the field to three agencies. The company declined to name the other firms involved.

“In addition to Zeno’s presence in core markets, their work style and ethos matched ours and we knew this would prove essential in making fast but long-lasting progress. Neato’s integrated approach to marketing communications makes use of Zeno’s strengths, and their proven success with challenger brands made Zeno the right match for our team,” the company added.

Neato stopped working with previous agency partner Flashpoint Public Relations in December, Laran said. Flashpoint was not invited to compete in the review. 

“We want to work with partners, not vendors,” Neato said, via email. 

Flashpoint co-owner Christopher Dowling said the firm stopped working with Neato after he and his partner changed the agency’s business model. "Last year, my business partner Kristin Greene and I decided to transition Flashpoint PR from a full-service agency to strategic consulting services," he said. 

This meant Flashpoint could not offer day-to-day services an account like Neato required, although the agency did finish out the year.   

"As part of that transition, we informed Neato of our plans in early fall and maintained support for product publicity leading into Q4 2019," Dowling added.

Germany-based Vorwerk Group acquired Neato for an undisclosed amount in 2017. 

Zeno’s revenue grew 8% in 2019 to $79.2 million, according to PRWeek’s Agency Business Report

This story was updated on May 12 with comment from Flashpoint. 

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