Media briefs: Smoking Gun; Peppermint Soda; Weber Shandwick; Limitless; Embrace Marketing

Munchkin appoints Smoking Gun for new PR and social media partnership
X The Business Desk

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American baby lifestyle brand Munchkin has appointed Smoking Gun to handle its UK PR, influencer and social media campaign strategy and implementation.

The Manchester agency will support the brand on consumer PR, social media strategy, and larger campaigns to support NPD, after it was appointed following a competitive three-way pitch.

Headquartered in California, Munchkin has been providing parents with innovative products for babies and toddlers, such as cups, utensils and milkmakers, for more than 25 years with its products available to buy in more than 45 countries worldwide.

As part of the new partnership, Smoking Gun will be tasked with looking after Munchkin’s UK division.

Diana Griffiths, marketing director EMEA at Munchkin, said: “Smoking Gun has vast experience not only in consumer PR and social first campaigns, but in the parenting market especially. We were immediately impressed by their credentials, energy and understanding of our brief and where we want to be.

“The Smoking Gun team understood who we are and what we stand for straight away, and we’re very excited for the future ahead with them.”

Smoking Gun’s managing director, Rick Guttridge, said: “Our wealth of experience and expertise in the parenting sector, combined with Munchkin’s ambitious plans, creates the perfect opportunity for us to deliver brilliant, impactful work together.

“As a parent of four myself, and with parents of babies and toddlers in our team, Munchkin’s ethos of making parents’ lives easier by thinking of the ‘little things’ is one we certainly identify with.”

Tim Mullock, CEO, Kiistone

Following a successful launch of its payment platform, Kiistone has handed Limitless Public Relations an extended brief which will see the agency deliver a national trade and consumer campaign comprising media relations, social media and events.

The tech start-up initially engaged Limitless to launch its mobile and desktop platform aimed at helping tradespeople run their businesses more effectively and put an end to payment disputes.

The brainchild of CEO Tim Mullock, the Kiistone platform is designed to financially protect both tradespeople and customers, who agree job specifications and budgets via the platform. Payment is then protected and held independently, by the largest Escrow provider in Europe, until both parties are satisfied that the job has been completed as agreed.

As well as the Escrow solution, the online platform provides further functions to help tradespeople manage their projects, diary, cashflow, admin and communication. It also links to the Kiistone Community, providing industry news, guidance and support for trade businesses and homeowners.

Tim Mullock, CEO of Kiistone, said: “The aim for Kiistone in the long term is to build a community of tradespeople who take pride in their profession and who understand the value for everyone in modernising the industry.

“Kiistone’s ultimate goal is to be a gamechanger for the industry, to reinstate pride and quality in British trades, and to represent a new benchmark in professional standards.”

For the PR launch, Limitless drew upon the profile of West Bromwich Albion and England goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, who became a shareholder of Kiistone after using the platform during his own home renovation, to secure coverage in the Daily Mail, the Sun and i-News.

Limitless director Greg Wilson said: “The Kiistone launch has been a great PR success. National newspaper coverage has helped us so far hit publications with online readership figures of 348 million and 2.6 million opportunities to see in print.

“Kiistone is a fantastic product with big ambitions to positively disrupt the status quo and improve the lives of its users so we’re really looking forward to helping support them with their long-term growth goals.”

Haute Dolci Preston

Cheshire-based Peppermint Soda has launched a recruitment drive following a raft of recent client wins.

The PR and marketing agency is seeing its busiest period in 15 years, as it takes four new clients onto its roster.

The recent wins include Haute Dolci, the luxury dessert dining chain, which appointed Peppermint to increase brand awareness. The approach will include a blend of tactics from influencer marketing through to newsmaking.

Specialist family law firm, Maguire Family Law, has also appointed Peppermint to help build its client portfolio and fuel growth across the region. This will be achieved via a strategic thought-leadership and business profiling campaign.

The third win is VU Compare, a new vehicle finance and insurance comparison website, with the agency being briefed to support the company as it looks to secure initial seed funding, and then the website’s official launch later this year.

Legal UK Services, a leading financial mis-selling specialist, completes the list, with Peppermint tasked with helping to raise the profile of the brand on a national scale and providing an agile and reactive press office function.

Owner of Peppermint Soda, Jean-Philippe Glaskie, said: “This has been a hugely exciting year for Peppermint.

“We started to see the business grow rapidly in the past few months, and we are now the busiest we’ve been since we started in 2005. With this in mind, we are on the lookout for ambitious PR professionals, at all levels, to join our team and come on this exciting journey with us.”

Marcus Rashford

Weber Shandwick has joined forces with The Food Foundation to provide PR and digital support to the latest campaign launched by Marcus Rashford.

The #WriteNow campaign represents the latest phase of #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY, one of the most influential campaigns of 2020.

So far, the campaign has seen the formation of a Child Food Poverty Task Force, a parliamentary petition signed by over 1m people, and ultimately, the announcement of a Government funding package to help alleviate child food poverty.

This latest phase will encourage the general public to write to their MP via Rashford’s website,, to support three major recommendations in the National Food Strategy to help alleviate the increase of food insecurity being experienced by millions of UK households with children.

Supported by the #ENDCHILDFOODPOVERTY task force, NGOs and influencers, the campaign will signpost people to the campaign website where they can write to their local MP ahead of the Government Spending Review in October.

Speaking about the campaign, Marcus Rashford said: “Whilst we’ve come a long way in the last 20 months, placing the issue of child food poverty at the forefront, devastatingly, the issue is getting worse not better.

“The entire nation got behind the national team this Summer so let’s put these figures in football terms: You can fill 27 Wembley stadiums with the 2.5 million children that are struggling to know where their next meal might be coming from today.

“I am, today, pledging my support for three recommendations from Part 2 of the National Food Strategy. I hope that we see the required investment pledged during the Autumn Spending Review. I will be writing to my MP about it, and I would encourage you all to do the same.  It will take many of us to stand together on this, and show we care about reaching those most in need in our communities.”

Becky Reardon (Managing Director), Sophie Stubbs (Brand & Design Manager) and Reeya Patel (Head of Brand)

Embrace Marketing a B2B branding, digital marketing and website development agency has won two competitive pitches for brand development projects in one day.

One is for a new sustainability brand for a global healthcare company and the other is for a new cutting-edge cloud-based brand for a well-established professional services firm.

Becky Reardon, Managing Director, Embrace Marketing said: “We’re super excited to have won two pitches in one day – a first for us!

“What makes our brand development process a bit different is that we fuse a strategic, evidence-based branding approach with creativity in messaging and visual identity.

“We don’t develop ‘fluffy’ brands, we help to develop creative brands with true, authentic meaning.

“We also tend to win the projects which have a complex B2B branding need such as considering brand hierarchy and many sub-brands or having a complex proposition, target audience or stakeholder structure. We can’t wait to get cracking with these two new projects.”

Embrace’s brand development process follows the B2B RiSE brand model which was devised by Embrace in 2019. The RiSE brand model identifies the strategic work which is needed depending on where a brand is at in its lifecycle.