PR pitch feast looms as Beat Auckland folds

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Freemans Bay PR outfit Beat Communications has dissolved its business, cutting loose most of its clients – including the big one, Frucor.

NBR (in a pay-posting on its website) reports that Frucor has now put its PR account up for pitch.

In July, Beat directors Katharine Broughton, Angela Mace and James Boult decided to go their separate ways and pursue different interests after 14 “very successful years”. In their wake, they left Frucor, Unitec, Heinz Watties, Cadbury, Eat My Lunch and Icebreaker without service.

The company employed nine people at its peak.

NBR says Broughton has continued to operate under Beat as an independent PR and marketing consultant (with clients Eat My Lunch, Frucor – for the time being – and Heinz Watties). Mace is now working in the field of animal welfare while Boult has taken up the role of Yellow marketing manager.

Mace told NBR the business was in a healthy financial state when it stopped operating. “We had an incredible run with Beat, and throughout our time had the honour of working with clients who were willing to try new things, to innovate and explore the limits of PR & communications,” she said.

However, she gave NBR no hint about the reasons for the Beat partners deciding to pull the plug.

“It is great to reflect on our years at Beat and know we continually delivered work that we were immensely proud of,” was all she’d say.

Meanwhile, NBR says Frucor won’t elaborate on the pitch of its PR account. The paper says there’s also a rumour that the company also has its digital media account up for pitch – but a Frucort spokeswoman says, “We don’t have any updates in this space”.

Frucor’s brands include V Energy, Gatorade, Just Juice, Simply Squeezed, Fresh Up, h2go, Mountain Dew, 7UP, Up&Go, among others.

It is among the biggest spending marketers – $39 million on advertising for the year to December 2015, according to its latest financial accounts, a 16% increase on the previous year.

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