Rover this week vowed to keep its advertising momentum going in a
bid to maintain the support of dealers fearful of slumping sales after
the beleaguered car maker was dumped by its BMW parent.
TV campaigns supporting the 25 and 45 models, which have already been
paid for, will run until the end of May along with direct marketing
activity and national press inserts. ’We’re operating a ’business as
usual’ policy,’ a Rover spokesman said.
Meanwhile, Rover executives are discussing how they can reassure
potential customers worried about the supply of spare parts and
servicing arrangements for the cars.
’There must be a degree of uncertainty among customers about warranties
and we will have to clarify that,’ the spokesman added. ’At the moment
we’ve no plans to do this through advertising because we are in a period
Rover acknowledges that allowing TV advertising to continue is
preferable to incurring heavy financial penalty if the commercials are
pulled at a late stage.
It is also reluctant to be off air during one of the most active periods
of the year for new car sales and while it has new models to
Above all, Rover is worried that a lack of advertising will send the
wrong signals to its dealers. ’There is a degree of concern among
dealers and their frustration at the situation is being noticed,’ the
Rover’s pledge came as its agency, M&C Saatchi, was due to meet with Jon
Moulton, the head of Alchemy, Rover’s would-be buyer.
Alchemy has indicated that it wishes to continue working with the
agency, which won the pounds 40 million creative task for Rover UK six
months ago and was awarded its international business in January.
At the same time, WCRS, which handles BMW in the UK, is understood to be
in discussions about establishing a separate agency in order to retain
its Land Rover account after the car maker’s sale by BMW to Ford.
So far, BMW has not briefed its UK shop to produce advertising to help
restore an image which has been battered by the Rover sale.
Land Rover’s sale has not derailed the pitch for the creative assignment
on the dollars 30 million North American account. Kirshenbaum Bond &
Partners is contesting the business with Crispin Porter & Bogusky of
Miami and GSD&M of Austin, Texas.