Brewster's first project will be the launch, followed by PR support on an annual retainer of about 250,000 rand (£21k).
South Africa's first Vuitton store will be in Johannesburg's largest shopping mall, Sandton City, and will open in the last quarter of 2004, stocking the iconic range of luggage, accessories, footwear and jewellery. The Johannesburg launch will form part of the brand's 150-year anniversary celebrations and will be treated as an international PR event.
All Louis Vuitton territories have either their own internal PR staff or contract an external agency, depending on each country's needs. There is no global PR account.
Seven agencies pitched for the account. MD of MBP Marcus Brewster said, 'Focusing mainly on consumer glossy magazines, our pre-launch strategy includes placement of iconic Vuitton merchandise in fashion editorials. Major features are planned in all these titles during launch month. In addition, Vuitton openings are internationally characterised by high-profile functions so these will be very much part of the launch mix.'
Brewster himself will head the account, assisted in Cape Town on the publicity side by account executive Nadia Padayachi and in Johannesburg by account executive Lisa Conidaris. All events and non-media matters will be project managed by MBP's COO, Galia Kerbel. The team will report in to Ricardo Reyes, head of communications for Latin America, as South Africa falls into the Latin America zone.
'As 2004 is Vuitton's 150th anniversary year and South Africa is a new territory for the company, they are looking to making the Johannesburg launch an international press event. A press junket is being arranged and we expect each Vuitton territory to send their key media representatives,' said Brewster.
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