Mercedes awards pounds 9m task to BDDH

BDDH has scooped the creative task on Mercedes-Benz UK’s pounds 9 million advertising account, bringing to an end the most hotly contested pitch of recent months.

BDDH has scooped the creative task on Mercedes-Benz UK’s pounds 9

million advertising account, bringing to an end the most hotly contested

pitch of recent months.



The agency saw off competition from BST-BDDP, Simons Palmer Clemmow

Johnson, Barker and Ralston and Buckfield Lord for the business.



The UK account came up for grabs last October when the incumbent, Leo

Burnett, was forced to resign it due to a conflict with the rival car

maker, Fiat. Burnetts will continue to plan and buy media for Mercedes

in the UK.



The decision to appoint BDDH was confirmed in a statement issued by

Mercedes late on Wednesday.



The coup plugs a three-year-old gap at the agency, which lost Honda to

Collett Dickenson Pearce in 1994.



Leslie Butterfield, the chairman of BDDH, was close to the Honda account

and is expected to take a major role in overseeing Mercedes. BDDH’s

joint creative directors, Simon Green and John Dean, also have extensive

car advertising experience through their work as a team on BMW at WCRS,

and on Mazda at Addition.



After a four-month search, the appointment came just one day after the

final presentations were made at Mercedes’ UK headquarters in Milton

Keynes on Tuesday.



Mercedes used the Advertising Agency Register and a consultant, Pierce

Brunt, to select the five finalists, who visited Mercedes’ headquarters

in Germany as part of the pitch process. The final presentations focused

on the manufacturer’s C and S class models, as well as on the brand’s

appeal to women.



Nigel Long, the managing director of BDDH, said of his agency’s task:

’It’s about making the brand accessible at the same time as retaining

its aspirational appeal.’



Mercedes has recently tackled the higher volume car markets. It began

with its 190 small executive saloon, and will continue next year with a

four-seater car, the A class.



The move attracted the attention of Fiat, a client held by Leo Burnett

in countries outside the UK. Fiat argued Mercedes’ change in tack, and

the tendency of manufacturers to market vehicles on an international

basis, meant it was becoming a conflict within the Burnett network.



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