Dunkin’ Donuts Looks at 6 for PR Project

BOSTON Six public relations agencies have emerged in a review to help Dunkin’ Donuts launch a line of espresso beverages beginning this summer.

In contention are Omnicom Group’s Cone, Boston, and Fleishman-Hillard, New York; Publicis Groupe’s Manning, Selvage & Lee, Boston; Interpublic Group’s Weber Shandwick, Cambridge, Mass.; and independents ClearBlue, Detroit, and Marina Maher Communications, New York, according to Cindy Gordon, director of global communication at the Randolph, Mass.-based client.

“Each has significant expertise to work with quick-service restaurants and broader experience in the food industry,” Gordon said of the selection. Cone has been Dunkin’ Donuts’ primary public relations agency since 1997.

Gordon said she will meet with the six agencies over the next few weeks and may narrow the list further before making a final decision in early July.

The campaign is set to begin in September, when the beverage line—including sweetened, unsweetened and flavored espresso, cappuccino and latte drinks—begins rolling out in about 1,100 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. By January, the new products will be available in 3,100 of the client’s 3,700 locations nationwide, Gordon said.

Spending is to be determined, though Gordon did say it would be at least $1 million for the yearlong effort.

Dunkin Donuts’ ad agency, IPG’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston, is crafting an ad campaign to coincide with the product launch, Gordon said.