Le Review C’est Moi, Says BIC

Societe BIC S.A., which established the worldwide market for disposable shavers and pens, has kicked off a search for a global agency to handle its estimated $50 million worldwide account.
An executive at the Clichy, France-based client confirmed the search, but offered few details.
Claire Gerard, a BIC communications executive, confirmed BIC’s U.S. ad business is included in a “global” review, but declined comment on ad spending, the number of agencies invited, or which shops handle BIC’s ad business globally. “It is still in process,” she concluded. The client is, however, seeking the efficiencies typically achieved via consolidation.
Havas Advertising, in Paris is believed to handle BIC in France; executives there could not be reached.
Melville, N.Y.-based Greenstone Roberts handles the client’s estimated $8 million U.S. account. An executive at Greenstone said he was unaware of any changes. That agency broke a campaign for BIC Corp. in August.
BIC, which operates in 150-plus countries, spends the bulk of its money in markets such as France and the U.S., said sources. The global shops in the review are putting their Paris offices at the forefront of the pitch.
Executives at BIC Corp. in Milford, Conn., a subsidiary of Societe BIC, did not return calls.
Founded in the 1940’s, BIC has expanded from ballpoint pens to cigarette lighters, shavers, mechanical pencils and stationery.
BIC’s greatest U.S. success came in the 1970’s, when it overtook arch-rival Gillette Co. in the cigarette lighters category with the famous “Flick your Bic” campaign created by Slater Hanft Martin in New York.