Delta Faucet consolidates PR, media, marketing and content with Barkley

MSL was the consumer PR shop on its previous agency roster.

Photo credit: Delta Faucet
Photo credit: Delta Faucet

 INDIANAPOLIS: Delta Faucet Company has named Barkley as its U.S. consumer AOR, consolidating integrated communications duties including earned, paid, media buying and influencer work with the Kansas City agency. 

Susan Fisher, VP of brand, innovation and growth at Delta, said the contract is a three-year master service agreement with the scope of work to be negotiated every year. She declined to disclose financial details, but said, “It’s probably fair to say we are one of Barkley’s larger accounts.” 

A Barkley spokesperson said the Delta account is one of the 10 largest at the agency. Amanda Abar, EVP of client experience, is leading the 35-person team on the business.  

Fisher explained that Barkley will be tasked with addressing specific challenges that the product category presents. 

“We are a durable goods manufacturer in a product category that gets purchased every seven to 10 years. Therefore, [it is] not a top-of-mind category,” she said. “You don’t think about what brand of faucets you have on a daily basis, so we are not a lifestyle brand per se.”

Delta is one of several plumbing brands owned by Masco, which reported a 2% increase in Q1 revenue for its plumbing division to $955 million. Its Q1 operating profit was $159 million.

The brand previously worked with a roster of mostly Publicis Groupe agencies: MSL for PR, Leo Burnett for creative and strategy and Spark Foundry for media. It also retained Manifest for social media content. The transition to working solely with Barkley began on June 1. 

“We have had an agency model for all our consumer brand comms for 12 years,” said Fisher. “It was long-standing and it generally consisted of four agencies of record for different disciplines.”

The brand began a review this year, narrowing the field, visiting agency locations and hosting firms in-house, she said. Delta Faucet closed its offices for the COVID-19 pandemic a few days after the last round of presentations. 

“It was a big change for us. The idea, as you can imagine, was to be more integrated with less silos occurring,” Fished added. “We wanted to get away from Delta having to facilitate collaboration and instead have it be a partnership where the agency [itself] had to collaborate.”

MSL was part of a Publicis One Solution team that participated in the pitch, said a spokesperson on behalf of Delta. Although it no longer works on consumer PR, MSL is continuing to manage Delta’s corporate communications, Fisher said. 

“MSL continues to support the Delta Faucet Company corporate communications work, which began with internal communications and has now expanded to include company external communications," an MSL spokeswoman said via email. 

“We thank Delta for our years of strong partnership and wish them every success in the future,” a Leo Burnett spokesperson said, via email. 

Spark Foundry and Manifest representatives did not immediately comment on Delta’s decision.

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