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Michael Henderson

SYDNEY-BASED public relations firm DEC PR has been appointed public relations agency for Chinese-owned British automotive brand, MG Motor, in Australia.

The move follows a short association last year when DEC PR handled the re-launch of the MG brand in Australia as a one-off project.

The other agencies that pitched for the ongoing MG Motor contract remain a mystery, but DEC said in a media release that it “successfully defended the account following a highly competitive pitch and procurement process concluding recently”.

As part of its contract, DEC PR will manage corporate communications for MG Motor Australia and lead all of the company’s PR, media, social media, events, influencer marketing and other activities.

Luisa Regattieri

The media contacts for MG Motor Australia will be DEC PR CEO Michael Henderson, as well as Ashleigh Manion and Luisa Regattieri.

MG Motor Australia – a subsidiary of Chinese giant SAIC Motor Corporation – was relaunched in Australia in late 2016 after an unsuccessful attempt to get the brand off the ground under independent importer Longwell Motor in 2013.

The car-maker has three offerings in Australia – the MG3 light hatch, MG6 mid-size liftback and the GS SUV.

One of DEC PR’s first projects under the contract will be to launch the smaller ZS crossover which is set to bolster the line-up in the final quarter of this year.

So far this year MG Motor has sold 328 cars and SUVs in Australia, led by the MG6 on 257 units, then the MG GS on 44 and the MG3 with 27 sales.

Ashleigh Manion

SAIC’s marketing senior manager for Australia, Danny Lenartic, praised the professionalism and enthusiasm of the team at DEC PR.

“In DEC PR, we have appointed an agile agency partner that is hungry to help us grow by connecting us with a new generation of MG fans and customers,” he said.

“We’ve worked on several successful programmes together so far, and the calibre of DEC PR’s thinking, creativity, flexibility and agency culture has been a standout. It also helps that they’re a bunch of car nuts who can’t wait to jump behind the wheel of our cars at any opportunity!”

DEC PR manages a number of other automotive clients, including exotic sports and luxury brands Aston Martin, McLaren and Rolls-Royce, as well as Trivett Bespoke.

DEC PR CEO Michael Henderson said: “MG is famed for its playful approach to communications and has been making motoring fun for drivers since 1924.

“It is this heritage, combined with SAIC’s vision for innovation and track record of high quality engineering that makes the appointment such an exciting partnership for us, and a proud addition to our consumer portfolio.”

By Tim Nicholson

Upper DEC: One of DEC PR’s first jobs will be to organise the media launch of the incoming ZS crossover in October.