SHELTON, CT: Bic, the French company known for making ballpoint pens, lighters, and stationary, has selected MWWPR as its global AOR.
The decision was part of a move by Bic VP and global comms head Joy Seusing to centralize comms functions at the company.
“I started at Bic in April 2019 and my role was to centralize comms globally for the company for the first time ever,” she said. “I had inherited many PR agencies that were hired on a project basis and separately for corporate and separately for consumer. And even in consumer we had different agencies for different categories.”
The company issued a formal RFP last fall, she said, and invited seven agencies to compete. Two made the cut and competed in the final pitch, with MWWPR coming out on top in December. MWWPR began working on the account January 1. Seusing declined to name the other agency.
She said the deal with MWWPR is worth $1 million and covers comms. Paid media is handled by the marketing department. The deal is for one year, but Seusing said Bic’s goal is to have a long-term relationship with the firm.
“What I would say really stood out for me was their corpsumer philosophy, the philosophy around bringing together corporate reputation with consumer marketing and PR and blending it all together,” Seusing said, explaining the decision. “For Bic, which is such a beloved global brand that’s been around 75 years, I thought bringing [those] together was really important.”
Having a holistic approach to comms is essential, she added.
“Now your audiences all blend together and a key stakeholder like the media could be a customer and could even be a client,” Seusing said. “So it’s important to have one view across everything. And having a team flexible enough to move between categories and between corporate and consumer issues is valuable.”
Specifically, MWWPR is helping develop a new global narrative for Bic.
“[We] have gone through and are going through a transformation and modernizing the way we operate,” said Seusing. “And it’s time for a fresh look at how we add value for consumers and who we are as a company.”
The agency is also helping to update Bic’s crisis comms plans and contributing to several consumer initiatives going on, including the launch of a new product line connected to Bic’s partnership with Amazon.
“There are a lot of exciting things happening this year with different product launches and programs,” Seusing said.
MWWPR EVP and consumer marketing MD Tara Naughton is leading a team of seven on the account.
In February, The Wall Street Journal reported that Q4 2019 profits dropped at Bic to 23.5 million euros ($25.6 million) from 49.8 million euros a year earlier and sales declined to 501.2 million euros from 511 million euros. The company predicted flat sales for the rest of the year.