One of fashion’s most famous PR firms has made the unexpected move of signing Grindr as a client.
The firm is run by Sylvie Picquet Damesme and Pierre Rougier, and does PR for fashion giants including Dries Van Noten, Versace and Rick Owens.
The decision comes off the back of Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai telling the Daily Beast the app would be evolving into more of a lifestyle platform for gay men.
Simkhai said: “We solve gay men’s problems. The first one we attacked was “Who’s around me?” We’re now going to solve other problems beyond “Who’s the guy I’m meeting now?”
“Naturally that will evolve the brand. In other words, as we evolve the product, the brand will naturally evolve.”
And the VP of marketing at Grindr, Landis Smithers, confirmed this shift of focus to WWD, speaking about the decision to hire PR Consulting as its public relations firm.
Smithers said: “As Grindr grows it’s global network and expands into new areas, we wanted to find a partner that would both understand our vision for a more connected world and push us to think differently about how we speak to our users.
“While we knew PR Consulting might seem unexpected to some, their approach has always been highly creative, responsive and pro-active. We are thrilled that they also understand and embrace the vision we are developing.”
The gay dating app previously did its PR in-house, and this intriguing move seems to be linked to the company’s recent push of its advertising platform, which now brings in 25% of its revenue, according to Joel Simkhai.
And indeed the co-founders of PR Consulting made reference to this in a statement given to WWD, saying: “It might seem surprising to some in the fashion community that we would take Grindr on as a client, but this is a very large platform with more than seven million users worldwide and one million users engaged every second on Grindr.
“It would be foolish to think that the fashion, lifestyle, beauty and luxury industries would not view this as an incredible platform to reach an influential, potential consumer.”
This week, Grindr released a study about PrEP and stigma surrounding the drug amongst its users, which you could read here.