A Celebration

Jackie Cooper PR

Welcome to the celebration website for Jackie Cooper PR, co-founded in 1987 by Robert Phillips and Jackie Cooper and sold to Edelman, now the world’s largest Public Relations firm, in 2004.

Robert Phillips & Jackie Cooper launch JCPR (1987)

JCPR was founded with the mantra “make publicity work for sales” which evolved into “Hero Campaigns for Hero Brands”. According to PR Week, JCPR was “the seminal consumer brands agency” of the ‘90s and Noughties. Two JCPR campaigns – for Wonderbra and PlayStation – were elevated into the Top 20 PR Campaigns of All Time.

This site is dedicated with love and affection to all those who made JCPR (1987-2004) and Edelman (2004-2012) so very special. You know who you are and the amazing things we all achieved together.

History was written by us all.

Jackie Cooper and Robert Phillips went into business together to make a difference. Every campaign they took on had to make a mark and, if it didn’t, they had failed. Cooper and Phillips took creativity in PR to another level and fundamentally changed our way of thinking – instead of exclusively promoting the things other companies had produced, they proved that PR could produce original and exciting things of its own. They helped build brands for some of the biggest names in the business, such as Wonderbra and PlayStation, by dreaming up ever-more inventive campaign ideas and never choosing the easy option.

Dazed & Confused Magazine

2008

JCPR - the story

Jackie Cooper PR (JCPR) was created in the autumn of 1987, when Jackie Cooper joined forces with Robert Phillips.

Jackie emerged from an unhappy spell in mainstream PR agencies, before working on Greenpeace’s legendary “Dumb Animals” anti-fur trade campaign and then launching Jackie Cooper Publicity, as a freelancer, in 1986. Robert’s less orthodox route into consumer brands PR started when he founded his first business – specialising in marketing Italian bridalwear – while still at university. He went on to create the BRIDES exhibition in Harrogate, Yorkshire a year later. Jackie Cooper Publicity was folded into Robert’s company (the mysteriously named Pathalo Blue) in early 1988.

At the time of founding JCPR, Jackie was 25 years old and Robert 23. Their first campaign together was for Dormie, a men’s formalwear retailer, then owned by Sears. Their second project – and a client with whom they worked for over a decade – was with the Finnish Foreign Trade Association and a host of Finnish companies and brands.

Robert and Jackie sold JCPR to Edelman in 2004. By then, JCPR was the UK’s leading consumer brands PR consultancy – with 75 staff and annual fees of c. £4 million. The deal proved the catalyst for the transformation of Edelman in the UK. The JCPR brand was subsequently retired by Edelman, shortly after celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Sale to Edelman - with Richard Edelman (2004)

Robert went on to become UK and then EMEA CEO of Edelman and Global Chair of its Public Engagement & Future Strategies Group, before quitting in 2012. In his own words, “he no longer believed in what he was doing”, a story captured in his 2015 book “Trust Me, PR is Dead” (add link). Jackie continued at Edelman, including roles as Global Creative Director and, more recently, Senior Advisor to the firm.

JCPR’s multiple award-winning “Hero Brands” work is documented below – Playtex, Pretty Polly, PlayStation, Sol, Daewoo, Snapple, O2, Baileys and Wonderbra among a collection of stellar companies and brands.

Playtex / Wonderbra

Bra Wars ... and Wonderbra

In partnership with TBWA
Launched 1993

The PR campaign that defined the ‘90s and spurned a generation of me-too ad. amplification programmes. Worth remembering that (a) cleavage was not fashionable before Wonderbra; (b) Eva H was not yet a supermodel; and (c) that Wonderbra was the underdog in the battle for brand supremacy.

8/10 Women Wear The Wrong Size Bra
Playtex
Launched 1991

Kim Basinger
Golden Lady
Launched 1991

Banned: The Ad Campaign that Never Was
Sol Beer
Launched 1993

Snapple Beverage Corporation

Made From The Best Stuff on Earth

Launched 1996

Pioneering brand marketing – award-winning US work translated with a very British twist. Championed social marketing before it became “a thing” and developed User Generated Content some time before You Tube. A global brand built through PR.

Re-invention beyond “ice”

Baileys
Launched 1996

Launch of PS1, PS2 and multiple titles

Sony PlayStation
Launched 1997

That’ll be the Daewoo
Daewoo Cars
In partnership with DFGW
Launched 1997

BT Cellnet/ O2

See What You Can Do

Launched 2001

The radical transformation of dusty (ex)nationalised behemoth BT Cellnet into the vibrant and exciting O2, quickly established as the leading brand in the mobile space. A multiple award-winning partnership bewtween VCCP, Lambie-Nairn and JCPR – the very best of truly integrated comms.

Play Video

Ten Star Tapas –
The world’s first 10 Michelin Star Menu

Sherry Institute of Spain
Launched 1999

Making a Brand

Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen
Launched 2000

The Lilt Ladies

In partnership with Mother
Launched 1998

Capco (Capital & Counties Properties plc)

Covent Garden: a destination for Londoners

Launched 2003

The long-term transformation of an entire district  – from tatty tourist destination to global retail icon. A campaign based on a simple organising thought: the de-constructed department store. New London for the 21st century.

Retiring Concorde
British Airways
Launched 2003

The New Wembley Stadium
The FA
Launched 2004

Retail Futures
Shell
Launched 2004

Microsoft

XBOX

Launched 2001

Giving JCPR’s previous campaigns for Sony a run for their money; bringing Xbox out of the shadow of both competitor PlayStation and parent Microsoft – distinctive, original and compelling programmes for console and titles alike. Took over and re-branded an entire country for one famous PR push.

There were, of course, many other notable campaign successes along the way (along with a few inevitable flops!) – from Foster’s “Fozzies in their cozzies” and Lapin Kulta “the only beer in the world brewed by women”, to early work on Red Bull; the Martell Grand National and Courvoisier goes Hip Hop; from the co-creation (and sale) of The Forum designer menswear show, to Atlantis and One&Only Resorts; the UK launch of TK Maxx and the launch of Cable & Wireless Communications (in partnership with Rapier); plus work on various brands from Coca Cola, InBev, Mars & Wrigley, GSK, Seagram, Diageo and other global leaders.

With heartfelt thanks

None of the above would have been possible without some incredible clients who placed their faith and trust in us but, more importantly, without the amazing Cooperettes. They are the true heroes: spectacular stars, too numerous to mention. Many went on to become industry and creative leaders – and rightly so.

They – and we – know who they are.

© 2019 Robert Phillips