Playtime PR forms alliances with Southard Freeman Communications in the USA
New deal will provide Playtime’s clients with access to Southard Freeman’s PR services in the USA
Playtime PR is forming an alliance with Southard Freeman Communications, an award-winning communications agency with offices in New York and New Jersey.
The deal provides Playtime’s clients with access to Southard Freeman’s expert PR services in the USA. Similarly, clients of Southard Freeman will be able to tap into Playtime’s services in the UK and Europe.
The two agencies already share a number of client brands in the toy space, including Thames & Kosmos and Sensible Object. By working together, the agencies are confident they can better serve them and future clients with needs in both Europe and the US and by providing deeper local market insight.
Commenting on the alliance, Lesley Singleton, Founder and Managing Director of Playtime PR says, “This is a really exciting next step for Playtime. Our intention is to build a network of agency alliances in various territories to strengthen our offering. We’ve certainly found the perfect US partner in Southard Freeman – the team has an enviable heritage in toy PR and beyond, spanning decades and including legacy campaigns such as the launch of Tickle Me Elmo and Leapfrog’s Leap Pad, as well as the 50th anniversary of Etch a Sketch and 30+ years of working with Mattel. As our clients increasingly require support in the USA, we’re pleased to have found an agency whose approach is creative, effective and harmonises with our own. Bill and Bruce’s team shares our passion, drive and love for the toy space as well as – importantly! – our sense of humour, whilst valuing creativity and campaign diversity too, so it’s very much our intention to run regular transatlantic team sessions to breathe deeper life into ideas on both sides of the pond, giving clients stronger insight and culturally tailored campaign ideas.”
Bill Southard, co-founder and CEO of Southard Freeman, said, “We have long admired the work that Lesley and her team have executed on behalf of their impressive portfolio of clients and are thrilled to formalize our partnership. Increasingly our clients are looking for support across the globe and we could not have partnered with a more professional, experienced and dedicated company than Playtime. Bruce and I look forward to much success and a long-term partnership that will not only benefit our two respective firms, but our clients as well.”
Playtime PR was established in 2014 and has grown to a team of 11, with retained toy clients including Top Trumps, Jazwares, ZURU, Tactic Games and John Adams’ Rubik’s Cube, Othello, Rummikub and Triominos. The agency has been recognised with a number of PR awards, including the PRCA’s Industry Leader of the Year 2017 for MD Singleton, and campaign awards for work carried out on behalf of clients BBC Worldwide and Worlds Apart.
Southard Freeman Communications is led by Bill Southard and Bruce Maguire, following a merger between Southard Communications (est. 1994) and Freeman PR (est. 1955). With a staff of 25, the agency’s impressive roster of clients includes Playmobil, Zing, Epoch and Redwood Ventures as well as a number of clients outside the toy space including Petmate, Vegy Vida, Shedrain Umbrellas, Para’Kito Insect Repellants and Paulaner Beer.