NEW DELHI — MasterCard has brought in Avian Media as its new PR firm in India, breaking with its regional agency alignment with Weber Shandwick.

Avian takes charge of a brief that had been handled by Weber Shandwick for the past five years, covering media relations, digital and policy communications. The business moved in the first quarter of this year following a pitch in 2017.

MasterCard South Asia corporate communications head Latika Taneja confirmed the account shift, noting that the company had evaluated four agencies before making its decision.

"Our objectives are to drive bigger, focused campaigns to create impact on business and reputation," said Taneja.

Taneja added that the shift to digital payments constituted the "biggest opportunity for Mastercard to make sustainable marketing and communications campaigns."

Also, she pointed out that the company is aiming to expand its brand presence and profile into more tier two markets, via specific, localised messaging. 

The PR agency shift comes after MasterCard named Manasi Narasimhan as its new marketing and communications chief in late 2017. Since then, the company has also unveiled a new marketing campaign focused on driving digital empowerment in tier two markets.