Kellogg Hires Edelman for PR

Indie Shop Forms New Unit to Handle Multi-Brand Assignment

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Kellogg Co. has hired independent public relations giant Edelman just weeks after ending a short-lived relationship with Weber Shandwick over conflict concerns.

In order to avoid conflicts under its own roof, Edelman will form a new agency called K Group Public Relations for the assignment.

"The K Group Public Relations Company will provide a unique solution for our brands with the creation of a new business entity dedicated exclusively to Kellogg , and will provide a best-in-class resource for our needs today and for the future," Brandy Ruff, Kellogg 's director-brand relations told Ad Age in a statement. The cereal and snacks giant will continue to work with Ketchum and MSL Group "on a variety of our projects for corporate communications, internal communications and cause-related marketing programs," she noted.

Kellogg was forced to launch a new PR review in November just weeks after hiring Interpublic Group of Cos.' Weber Shandwick and a sister agency called Current Lifestyle Marketing. At the time, Weber Shandwick told Ad Age that "a business issue arose in another part of our corporation that unfortunately made it impossible for us to work with Kellogg ."

It was believed at the time that the conflict loomed larger than Weber Shandwick alone and could have involved a relationship with a client of parent Interpublic Group of Cos.

The matter of conflicts has become a hot-button topic for the industry, and increasingly clients are tightening their policies, boxing in agencies. As Ad Age indicated late last year, the trend of conflict shops to skirt any perceived violation of business ethics is likely to make a comeback.

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