After a formal RFP that included about 20 agencies, Formula was chosen for the one-year, $200,000 account, said Terry Mansky, the chief administrative officer of International Coffee & Tea LLC, which does business as The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
The company only recently made the announcement about the new AOR, because of some changes in its marketing department, including the addition of Sydney Reiner as a consultant, who led the search. Formula, however, was chosen effective Feb. 1.
Formula president Michael Olguin said the agency's LA office will handle national media relations, store openings, online communications, and product launches tied in to regional PR strategy.
As part of its online efforts the agency plans to aggressively reach out to bloggers, especially those targeting the 18- to 35-year old target market, Olguin said.Formula staffers, including Olguin, worked as baristas for the day at six store locations, learning about coffee, tea, and the brand, in order to pitch for the account.
"Ultimately, the people who we have to serve are our baristas and so putting the flashlight on that was really an absolutely correct retail mentality that we want a public relations firm to share with us," Mansky said.
Coffee Bean's previous firm was JS2 Communications.