Weber Shandwick will be responsible for all public relations issues with Montblanc's four major categories: watches, jewellery, writing instruments and leather goods.
Even though general advertising forms a larger part of Montblanc's marketing budget, PR work such as refined targeting to different publications, organisation of corporate events and product launches throughout the year is still integral to overall strategy.
The decision was made in order to "ensure more rapid access to information and channels of communication for the media". Geographical convenience was said to be one factor for the agency switch, according to sources, as BlueCurrent is based in Beijing but the brand's China marketing team is in Shanghai—the same city as Weber Shandwick.
The scope of work includes daily media interactions, strategic communications and PR support surrounding events. AEIOU, a local independent agency recently merged with M&C Saatchi, still handles the creative localisation and adaptation of global visuals for Montblanc.
The client was also impressed by the expertise and attitudes shown by Weber Shandwick during the Montblanc Master of Watchmaking project held in Shanghai during November last year.
The newly favoured agency also proposed initial ideas to increase the market share for Montblanc watches, which face strong competition as opposed to its pens.
Writing instruments from Montblanc have always been its signature product and already the market leader, so it makes sense to expend less PR effort in that category, according to the brand.
The contract was signed on a one-year retainer basis. The long-term PR objective is to focus on more emotional branding, as Montblanc's focus in the past was on the technicality and functionality of its products.