Arun Sudhaman

Working the angles around media, comms and marketing.

Wrigley selects Edelman to boost global health credentials

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Posted to the Holmes Report here

Wrigley has consolidated its $3m Benefits of Chewing (BoC) PR programme with Edelman, as the confectionary giant seeks to build its global health and wellness credentials.

According to RFP documents, the Mars subsidiary is aiming to better advocate the links between chewing gum and a range of health benefits, amid increasing regulatory scrutiny of food products. Chewing gum brands such as Orbit and Extra account for the vast majority of Wrigley’s $5 billion-plus revenues.

Edelman previously handled the bulk of Wrigley’s BoC activity in the US,  and prevailed in a pitch that included Burson-Marsteller and Weber Shandwick.

“After a lengthy search process, Wrigley has selected Edelman as its agency of record for the full global Benefits of Chewing program,” said Wrigley EU director of corporate affairs Kristen Kinkella. “While Edelman supported part of the program, we are pleased to now partner with them as the program expands and we move in a new direction.”

Wrigley previously set the budget for the assignment at $1m to $3m, but noted that this could rise. It is understood that the company is currently locked in discussions with Edelman over exact fee levels.

The decision comes as scrutiny of industry-funded research into health and food products rises. Wrigley is aiming to build credibility of its research into chewing gum’s health benefits, which is carried out by the Wrigley Science Institute.

The BoC initiative has previously helped Wrigley defend its brands against negative media perceptions and, in some cases, has prevented their removal from the front end of retail chains. It is understood that Wrigley is  targeting influencers from three groups of healthcare professionals: oral care; weight management; and, focus/concentration and stress relief.

The BoC already counts a number of partnerships with such bodies as the FDI World Dental Federation, the International Association of Dental Research and the American Dietetic Association.


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