HERNDON, VA: Bentley Motors selected M&C Saatchi PR as its communications AOR on Thursday after an RFP process that began in January.
Four firms pitched for the account, including incumbent JMPR.
M&C Saatchi PR is supporting Bentley with product and brand communications and collaborating with the brand’s other marketing and communications agencies. The firm is helping Bentley tell its brand story in new and innovative ways to target audiences including the brand’s customers, potential customers, employees, and the media.
The PR firm is focusing on the Americas region, which includes the key markets of Brazil, Chile, Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. It is targeting future growth in countries throughout South America.
"We want to develop a narrative for Bentley in the Americas," said Jeff Kuhlman, Bentley’s CCO for the Americas. "Bentley is well known around the world, but there has to be a unique story about what we are trying to do here in the Americas."
He added that as the brand moves into more markets in South America, it is important for Bentley to have an agency partner with a presence throughout the region. One reason why M&C Saatchi was selected is its offices in Brazil, Chile, and Mexico.
Bentley also picked the firm due to its understanding of the automaker and its past work with luxury brands, Kuhlman said.
"They demonstrated a strong understanding of ultra-high-net-worth individuals and marketing to them and positioning ultra-high-net-worth products," he said.
Agency SVP Jen Dobrzelecki is leading a team of five staffers on the account. The contract’s length is three years.
Kuhlman has worked at Bentley since November 2015. Last July, the Volkswagen-owned luxury automaker also hired Erin Bronner as communications manager in the U.S.
"[Bronner] and I are both new to the brand, so this gives us a chance to take a strategic look at the business, to identify opportunities for the brand, and put together our strategy going forward and bring the agency along that path at the same time," said Kuhlman.
Budget information was not disclosed.
Bentley and JMPR stopped working together at the end of March. Kuhlman noted that JMPR had supported the brand for many years.
"This is not a vote against JMPR by any stretch; I appreciate everything they did for us," said Kuhlman. "But when we look at the task ahead of us, growing unto the other parts of the region beyond the U.S. and Canada, and doing the things that are going to help Bentley grow, we felt we needed an agency that had more of a global presence."