LaForce & Stevens, which handled PR for Victorinox Swiss Army North America for five years, did not pitch for the account and declined to comment. Mullen previously worked with the company on advertising, PR, and event marketing assignments from 1997 to 2003.
"The impetus behind us starting to look for a new agency was that we had lots of different agency partners, all of whom were really great people, but from an integration standpoint, it was very difficult," said Renee Hourigan, director of advertising and PR, Victorinox Swiss Army North America. "From a social media standpoint, we really felt that we had a lot of opportunities there to be much more effective, efficient, and quicker to market with news and information."
After issuing a RFP in September, Victorinox narrowed the search to two finalists, though Hourigan declined to name the other finalist or the financial details of the account. The company and Mullen are finalizing specifics, but "the contract will be multi-year," she added. Victorinox global headquarters in Switzerland will continue to oversee global brand strategy.
Mullen will focus on social media and PR and is kicking off the account work with the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, as well as several new product introductions. Mullen will also oversee a pop-up store concept and a road tour with the company's branded Airstream trailer in 2010.