NEW YORK--UK PR firm John Doe has launched in New York and secured Illy Caffè as its first client.

John Doe won North American PR duties for Illy following a competitive review. The agency's New York office will also support projects for existing global clients, including W Hotels, Pernod Ricard, and production company In-House Series, and will also continue to manage pro-bono cultural content for the Dalai Lama .

John Doe becomes the third UK consumer PR firm to launch in the US in recent months, following Frank PR and Diffusion. The new wave comes a few years after an older generation of UK agencies, such as Freud and Red Consultancy, failed in their efforts to penetrate the US market.

The New York launch comes after rapid growth in London since John Doe launched in 2009. The firm has won a string of clients, including Sony PlayStation, O2, GM and Adidas, and numerous awards, including EMEA New Consultancy of the Year at the 2011 SABRE Awards.

John Doe's New York office is led by newly-hired executive director Adam Thomas, formerly global head of PR at Vertu, and global publicity director Meena Khera.

John Doe founder Rana Reeves said that the agency's New York outpost would, like its London office, focus on marrying cultural content with brands.

"Our New York expansion will help us realise our ambition of truly maximising global culture for brands," said Reeves. "John Doe is the perfect marriage between creativity and process and I am confident our approach will be refreshing to the US."

“illy is at an exciting stage in its development with a range of initiatives that are setting the brand and products apart and we wanted more than just an agency," added Myra Fiori, Illy's VP of public relations in North America. "We wanted a partner to grow with and that could understand us in both traditional and non-traditional PR."