Trion Picks Up Autocrat Brand

Trion Communications will support the retail launch of Newport Coffee Traders following the shop’s selection last week by Autocrat, parent of the Newport brand.

The Lincoln, R.I.-based client chose Trion without a review, said Cindy Wall, president of Autocrat’s Newport Coffee division.

Autocrat approached Trion in Providence, R.I., based on the experience of agency partner Josh Fenton with rival New England Coffee when he worked at crosstown shop RDW Group, according to Wall.

Trion’s initial assignment is to help Newport expand beyond the coffee shops, restaurants and other food-service centers to grocery store shelves in the Boston and Providence markets. “We want to reach out to the consumer more,” Wall said. In doing so, Newport will compete directly with regional brand leaders New England Coffee and Green Mountain, Fenton said.

Trion’s work will include print, outdoor and radio ads, as well as package design, public relations and media planning and buying.

Billings were not disclosed.

Trion may use the brand’s existing tagline, “Newport. A gourmet legacy,” which was developed by the client and used in ads from McKay Communications in Boston to launch the Newport brand in 1999. Trion is the first agency Autocrat has used since the late-1990s, Wall said.

“Newport Coffee has a great history that [customers] have known and trusted for years,” Fenton said, citing its contributions to various community programs. “For New Englanders, that makes a big difference.”

Expansion beyond southeastern New England is a possibility in the near future. “We feel the Newport name would be well recognized outside of the region,” said Wall.

The business represents Trion’s first significant win since acquiring nearby shop Evergreen Communications last month. Director of client services Brian Heil and creative director David Gallone, who had been principals at Evergreen, will oversee the Newport Coffee account, Fenton said.

Trion’s other recent account wins include Sodexho USA, Rhode Island Quality Partners and Turfer Sportwear.