Coke calls in Edelman for major UK public affairs retainer
Agency switch comes as Greenpeace piles on the pressure over plastics.
Edelman has wrestled a major public affairs account with Coca-Cola away from rival agency Teneo Blue Rubicon, PAN has learned.
An Edelman team headed by new public affairs chief Will Walden, former chief adviser to Boris Johnson, triumphed in a recent pitch battle for the prestigious account.
The pitch process was overseen by Coke’s UK public affairs director Joel Morris and its UK head of public affairs Mark Saxon.
It comes as the drinks giant is keen to emphasis its green credentials, having made all of its bottles 100% recyclable and also reduced plastic use by introducing lighter, thinner bottles.
But Greenpeace is pushing Coca-Cola to go further, calling on the firm to increase the amount of recycled plastic it uses to make its bottles and to innovate beyond single-use plastic bottles.
“As thousands of Greenpeace supporters have piled the pressure on Coca-Cola, the mega brand is starting to take notice - but Coke’s answers aren’t yet good enough,” said Greenpeace’s Louisa Casson.
A Coke source told PAN the new brief being handed to Edelman would cover issues around packaging and recycling, with a focus on “engaging with parliamentarians and telling our story better”.
The source also stressed that there were no problems with the performance of Teneo Blue Rubicon, who will continue to handle corporate PR for Coke.
Picture by: Jens Kalaene/DPA/PA Images.