GREENVILLE, SC: Michelin hired M Booth & Associates as its North American AOR for brand passenger and light truck replacement tires in the US. The selection followed a competitive review that began in Q4, in line with the company's goal to strengthen its consumer efforts, said Lynn Mann, director of external communications for Michelin North America.
The review consisted of at least four rounds with 50% cuts at each major stage, the company confirmed. Initially, it involved a broad group of agencies ranging from large global to small boutique.
Lynne Fowler, PR Manager for Michelin North America, confirmed that the company invited incumbent Hill & Knowlton to participate in the review, but the agency declined to pitch. The agency, which had worked on the business since 2008, will continue to handle the BFGoodrich brand in the US and some multiproduct work in Canada. Hill & Knowlton declined to comment.
“We had a real strategic change in our consumer communications approach,” said Mann. “We wanted to take a fresh look at our PR approach in line with that change.”
The agency will handle all elements of PR, including social media, traditional programs, and special events.“M Booth really rose to the top and distinguished themselves,” she said. “As we were going through [the process], we said we have phenomenal agencies and it will be hard to make a choice, but we found it wasn't hard at all.”
Though she would not release contract details, Mann said, “Our preference is for long-term agency partnerships.”
"Michelin has an amazing amount of loyal consumers who are very engaged with the brand," said M Booth president Margi Booth. "Our job is going to be to deepen that engagement."
The company also works on programs with EMC Strategic Communications, Attention, Jackson Marketing Group, and Osborn & Barr.