NKPR wins Urban Barn, Aveeno Hair Care

The PR firm will oversee media relations, partnerships and influencer programs for the home furnishings store and hair care brand.


Public relations firm NKPR has bagged two AOR assignments following competitive searches, expanding its portfolio of clients in CPG and home furnishings.

As AOR for Urban Barn, the agency will lead the Canadian furniture and home décor retailer’s national communications strategy, including media relations, strategic partnerships and collaborations, brand events and activations, and influencer activities. It will also support Urban Barn’s philanthropic strategy. Through its “Blanket the Country” initiative, for example, it has donated blankets to the SPCA and affiliated animal shelters.

Last month, Urban Barn partnered with bed-in-a-box maker Endy to bring its mattresses into the physical space. The retailer faces competition from fast-growing, online-only players like Vancouver-based Article, including brands like Casper pushing further into bricks-and-mortar retail as they expand their product assortment.

NKPR has also been named Canadian AOR for Johnson & Johnson’s Aveeno Hair Care. Tasked with helping launch and grow the brand in Canada, it will oversee its local media relations strategy, influencer program and launch events for new hair care collections.

Aveeno, known for its skin-care line, has expanded to the hair aisle with the introduction of a 25-product assortment (including shampoos, conditioners, hair masks and styling products) in JanuaryThe new ingredient-focused collection follows its parent company’s acquisition of Vogue International, owner of hair-care brands OGX and Maui Moisture, in July 2016. Select Aveeno Hair Care products are already available in Canadian drug stores, but NKPR will help drive awareness of the broader Canadian launch in April.

The new assignments add to a client roster at NKPR that includes real estate developer Altree Developments and luxury resort wear brand Ciao Sea, for which NKPR was named AOR in February, as well as the Women’s Executive Network, a member-based organization that supports the advancement, development and recognition of professional women in Canada, which it won as an AOR client one month earlier. It also currently works with Swarovski, MEC, Flow Water, Spinco and Pusateri’s Fine Foods.

According to a recent analysis of Statistics Canada data, most retailers have been impacted by slowing sales growth over the last year. The new assignments come as sales in health and personal care stores were up only 0.1% during Q4 2018, while furniture stores and home furnishings stores saw sales growth of 0.6% and 0.7% for the quarter, respectively.