Rover Group has started a review of its pounds 7 million direct
marketing account, currently held by its above-the-line shop, Ammirati
The account comprises the three Rover marques handled by APL - Rover,
Mini and MG. Land Rover’s direct marketing, which is handled by Craik
Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, is unaffected by the review.
APL will repitch for the business against Craik Jones, which also
handles Rover Group’s international strategic direct marketing, and one
other below-the-line roster shop, Evans Hunt Scott, which has worked for
BMW, Rover’s parent company, since 1991.
Pitches will take place within the next two weeks. The review, which
will concentrate particularly on relationship marketing, is being led by
John Lowndes, Rover UK’s marketing director.
News of the review will be a blow for APL, which has sought to retain
the integrated credentials of Rover’s former though-the-line shop, Kevin
Morley Marketing (briefly Lintas i), following its acquisition two years
ago. KMM handled Rover’s entire business from television commercials to
coffee mats and brochures.
Chris Thomas, the managing director of APL, said: ’Rover is reviewing
its approach to integration. APL has done some excellent work for
We hope to convince Rover that a total integrated approach is the right
route for the business.’
Industry sources say Rover has changed its views on integrated
advertising following its acquisition by the German car giant, BMW, in
BMW uses above-the-line agency, WCRS, to generate ads but channels its
direct marketing through a number of specialist agencies.
Last year, APL lost the pounds 7 million dealership advertising account
to the Swindon-based Emery McLaven Orr.
Nicki Darzinskas, the marketing and communications director of Rover,
said: ’We have operated on Land Rover with above- and below-the-line
agencies for some years. We want to make sure we are effective with the
rest of the business.’