GREENVILLE, SC: After a two-year hiatus, Michelin North America has re-hired Ketchum as its PR AOR.
The firm previously served as Michelin’s PR AOR between 2011 and 2019. Since that time, Weber Shandwick had held Michelin North America’s account. Weber’s relationship with Michelin ended in January, and one month later, Michelin North America started working with Ketchum once again.
There was no formal RFP process before Michelin re-hired Ketchum. The company reached out to the firm and asked if it would be “interested in speaking about the possibility of working together again,” said Jeffrey Moran, EVP and MD of Ketchum’s consumer goods portfolio.
“We selected Ketchum based on our previous experience with them and because they have evolved their services and culture in ways that are well-suited to our own needs today, and in the future,” said Edna Johnson, VP of comms and brands at Michelin North America, in an emailed statement. “Our strategic communications approaches are expanding to meet our growth in new markets and the changing media environment.”
Moran said the agency is also supporting the diversity, equity and inclusion work Michelin is doing internally. Ketchum is also helping Michelin with brand communications and corporate communications on Michelin Guides and Experiences and Michelin’s CSR teen driver safety program, Beyond the Driving Test.
“As people start to return to some level of travel, we are talking to people about paying much more attention to the tires on their vehicles and that tires matter,” Moran added.
Ketchum VP Stacey Stapleton is leading a core team of eight staffers on the account, supported by specialists in Ketchum’s analytics, employee communications, media, financial communications and creative functions. Budget information was not disclosed.
During Ketchum’s most recent stint with Michelin, the agency worked programs such as Beyond the Driving Test and #StreetTread, won industry honors including PRWeek’s Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year in 2019 and PRWeek’s Community Relations Campaign of the Year in 2016.
On Monday, Michelin Group launched its largest advertising campaign in years called Motion for Life, spanning TV, digital and social media. The campaign celebrates Michelin’s “role in facilitating the motion that is critical for life and human development,” according to a statement.
Michelin designs, manufactures and sells tires and publishes travel guides, hotel and restaurant guides, maps and road atlases. Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, Michelin North America employs more than 20,000 people and operates 19 major manufacturing plants in the U.S. and Canada.
In Q1, Michelin’s sales were up 8.3% at constant exchange rates, lifted by the recovery in demand.
A Weber representative was not immediately available for comment.