Alamo switches pan-European creative task to Grounds Morris

Alamo, the international car rental company, is splitting with M&C Saatchi after only 20 months and assigning Grounds Morris the creative work on its pan-European account.

Alamo, the international car rental company, is splitting with M&C

Saatchi after only 20 months and assigning Grounds Morris the creative

work on its pan-European account.



The decision to appoint the creative independent, which is run by the

former Euro RSCG joint creative directors, Steve Grounds and Rob Morris,

ends the company’s current arrangements under which M&C Saatchi held the

UK business and FCB ran it across Europe.



Janet Ball, Alamo’s senior manager for marketing in Europe, said: ’We

felt we would be better served by a creative independent that could

devote the time and people to our account.’



Grounds said: ’We believe this is the first time a UK creative

independent has taken a high-profile account from a major agency.’



Alamo spent a minimal amount through M&C Saatchi last year but claims

budgets will increase as new services are launched.



The appointment comes at a time of intense competition in the European

car rental market with all the major players, including finding their

margins under pressure.



The brief to Grounds Morris is to take a cohesive look at Alamo’s

advertising across key markets including the UK, Germany, Holland,

Switzerland and Belgium as well as licensed operations in Ireland,

Greece, Malta, Portugal and the Czech Republic. It is now working on a

poster and radio campaign due to break in September.



Media buying, which is handled by BBJ Media Services in the UK and Carat

across Europe, is unaffected.



The catalyst for the account switch was Neil Campbell, who ran the

business at Walton & Wiggins. He has launched an account-handling and

new-business company to work alongside Grounds Morris (Campaign, last

week).



M&C Saatchi picked up the Alamo pan-European creative account in October

1995 because of its close association with the former BA marketing

director, Mike Batt, who was Alamo’s vice-president of sales and

marketing at the time.



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