Whittard, founded in London in 1886, operates 100 outlets nationwide selling fine teas, coffees and gifts, and has diversified into selling 'contemporary products'.
Starfish joint managing partner Julien Speed said the aim was to boost consumer awareness of Whittard: 'Our campaign is designed to drive footfall in the stores, promote the new image and increase sales.'
Whittard CEO Richard Rose confirmed that a wish to drive sales was behind the decision to employ a consumer PR agency, as the firm looks to boost its £35m turnover.
Last year the firm was involved in takeover talks with a number of bidders despite recording substantial pre-tax losses. Its share-price dropped in August when Whittard confirmed that none of the bidders had come up with a satisfactory offer.