NEW YORK – Cotton Council International (CCI) has appointed Hill+Knowlton Strategies as its global communications partner after a pitch process that began with 12 agencies.

As part of its three-year brief, H+K will communicate the US cotton industry’s sustainability credentials and establish a new voluntary standard: the US Cotton Trust Protocol. The agency will combine data and analytics with behavioural science to help CCI identify and prioritize potential partners, with a creative communications strategy to encourage adoption and advocacy of the protocol.

CCI is the export promotion arm of the National Cotton Council. Executive director Bruce Atherley said: “The entire selection committee was overwhelmingly impressed by H+K’s thoroughness and attention to detail. From spending time with growers, brands and the influencer community, they truly demonstrated their understanding of the industry, their expertise in establishing a new voluntary standard and most importantly how to engage brands and retailers.”

The account will be led by H+K global chief business development officer Sam Lythgoe, who said: “What really excited us about this brief was the complexity of the challenge. The cotton supply chain is complicated and there are multiple standards.

“As an agency, we never shrink from a challenge and brought together experts from around the globe in public policy, retail, brand building, sustainability as well as media and stakeholder engagement. Together we shaped a response that proposed unexpected approaches to drive awareness and adoption. We can’t wait to get started.”