NEW YORK — Distressed health and wellness chain GNC has handed its US consumer PR business to 5W Public Relations.

As GNC’s consumer PR agency of record, 5WPR’s responsibilities include boosting GNC’s new and existing products, as well as the retailer’s products and distribution partners, as the company works its way out of the bankruptcy it filed for in June.

The agency will also support GNC’s celebrity partnerships through media and influencer relations, speaking engagements, thought leadership and activations regionally and across the country.

Zeno was GNC's most recent consumer agency partner.

The 85-year-old retailer, which at its heyday operated more than 7,000 stores worldwide, also works with FTI Consulting, which handles corporate and crisis communications for the chain.

GNC’s move to 5WPR follows its sale last September to China’s Harbin Pharmaceutical Group following its bankruptcy. Harbin, which already owned 40% of the company, acquired the company for $770 million.

Around the same time, the company launched a search for a PR firm to handle crisis communications in markets including the US and Asia. That pitch proved fruitless, however, as the company's needs changed.