SHELTON, CT: Bic, the French company best known for ballpoint pens, lighters and stationary, has named M Booth as its consumer PR AOR for North America.
M Booth is providing public relations support for the brand’s U.S. consumer portfolio, including its product categories of Flame for Life (lighter), Human Expression (stationery) and Blade Excellence (shavers).
The agency will lead PR planning, the proactive news bureau, tentpole activations, measurement, ongoing strategic counsel and account management for these categories.
With a goal of increasing brand relevance for each consumer category, M Booth will support Bic through product launches, product-placement efforts, campaign development including activations, partnerships and celebrity spokesperson management. The Next 15 firm will also support business-related earned media relations efforts.
This week, M Booth worked on the EasyRinse razor debut with its All Shave. No Clog campaign, starring comedian Eric Andre and Emmy Award-winning actress Annie Murphy.
M Booth also helped Bic announce that musician Willie Nelson is joining rapper Snoop Dogg and lifestyle icon Martha Stewart in the latest rendition of EZ-Reach lighter advertising.
The agency is “using influencers for earned media opportunities that are based on pulse points,” said Eric Kreller, Bic’s director of global corporate communications.
The agency is also helping Bic revamp its earned media measurement system.
“We want to modernize what the results are that are coming back from our earned media outreach,” said Kreller. “M Booth will create insights from it that will help us understand how modern PR initiatives are impacting our consumers outside of traditional PR metrics.”
The firm is also helping Bic to use its consumer products to tell bigger stories about how Bic is “a player in the industry and moving the needle at retail,” Kreller said.
Bic’s relationship with M Booth started in Q4 2022 when it hired the firm after an RFP process regarding the launch of the EasyRinse razor.
“Knowing that earned media was going to be a huge part of the success of the launch of this product, we decided to flip the approach to the integrated agency team and for the first time have a PR agency lead the [team] instead of a creative agency,” said Kreller.
The integrated agency team also includes creative agency Doner CX and media agency Merkley+Partners.
In Q4 2022, Bic ran another RFP seeking PR agency support for its other product categories. Three agencies pitched. M Booth won the work at the end of the quarter and the relationship started on January 1.
Kreller referred to M Booth as Bic’s “PR agency soulmate.”
M Booth brand marketing SVPs Frani Chung and MaryBeth Clayton are co-leading a team of 16 staffers on the account.
“We say internally that this is a ‘best in class’ partnership, Bic,” said M Booth CEO Dale Bornstein.
She added that M Booth wants to “build this mutually inspiring partnership, because when people are inspired, they do awesome work and our goal is to ensure we do nothing short of awesome for Bic.”
Budget information was not disclosed.
In early 2020, Bic named MikeWorldWide as its global AOR. However, the firm’s remit changed during its tenure to the work that M Booth has taken over since its appointment. Bic’s relationship with MikeWorldWide ended at the end of last year.
MWW participated in the EasyRinse pitch, but not theb AOR review.
“The relationship ended incredibly amicably and we thank them profusely for the incredible work they helped us accomplish in-market,” said Kreller.
An MWW spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
There are no changes to Bic’s in-house comms department.
Bic products are sold in more than 160 countries around the world and feature iconic brands such as Bic Flex, Soleil, BodyMark, Cello, Djeep, Lucky Stationery, Rocketbook, Tipp-Ex, Us.TM, Wite-Out, Inkbox and more.
For all of 2022, Bic saw net sales growth of 13.8% at constant currencies, with double-digit growth in all of its divisions and across all key markets.
This story was updated on March 20 to correct which reviews MWW participated in.