Agencies line up for international pitch of Parker pen brand

Sanford, the French-based owner of Parker Pens, is talking to agency networks about a possible global campaign for its flagship product and other "fine writing instruments.

Senior executives of Sanford in Paris are currently drawing up a shortlist for the assignment to promote its Parker, Waterman and Rotring brands.

The move comes only eight months after Partners BDDH was appointed to handle a £1 million relaunch of the Parker brand in the UK. It is understood that the agency will be among those invited to contest the global brief.

At present it is unclear if Sanford wants to appoint a global network to handle the work, or to pick one agency to produce creative work to run globally.

The agency review comes in the wake of declining sales for "fine writing pens and the sale of the Parker brand by Gillette to the US company Newell Rubbermaid, of which Sanford is a subsidiary.

Partners BDDH and Rocket were appointed to handle creative and media respectively for the Parker brand in November last year as part of an attempt to build sales in the UK - its biggest market - in the run-up to Christmas.

The agency produced a press and poster campaign that included an image of a lesbian couple in an attempt to challenge established views of the brand.

"There's a big difference between buying a Mont Blanc in a luxury goods store and picking up a £6 pen in WH Smith, an industry source said.

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