Bates Worldwide is taking steps to avoid clashing car business by
setting up a specialist unit in London to run a pan-European image
campaign for Hyundai.
The new unit would allow the network to juggle work for the South Korean
car manufacturer, which it handles in its domestic market and the US,
and the pounds 100 million SEAT pan-European account which it is poised
The idea is to seal off Hyundai, which Michael Bungey, the Bates
worldwide chairman, has been trying to build into a global client, from
the Volkswagen-owned SEAT and BMW’s German business. The latter is run
by Bates’s Hamburg-based sister agency, Scholz & Friends.
A spokesman for Cordiant Communications, the Bates holding company,
stressed that Hyundai had not yet assigned the network the image
campaign, with its reported budget of up to pounds 13 million. But he
confirmed the intention to establish the unit in order to make Bates
Europe a ’car-free zone’.
Hyundai would be the unit’s core client but not its only one. ’There’s a
lot more of this work around,’ he added.
Hyundai is said to be keen to extend the company’s reputation as a car
maker by promoting its diverse product range, from semi-conductors to
computer components, and to present itself as a credible global player
despite South Korea’s economic turmoil.
The assignment would not affect existing agency relationships, including
that with Leagas Delaney in the UK.
Dominick Lynch-Robinson, who was the most senior creative on the Rover
business when it was at Bates Dorland, is understood to have been to
Seoul to present a campaign proposal to Hyun-dai executives.