WWAV Rapp Collins faces review of below-the-line Toyota account

LONDON - WWAV Rapp Collins is facing the prospect of losing lead status on the Toyota account as the car giant begins a four-month review of its £6 million below-the-line account.

WWAV currently handles Toyota's customer acquisition activity, with the fellow roster agency Miller Bainbridge responsible for customer retention. However, Toyota is reviewing its acquisition strategy, with a view to lessening its reliance upon cold lists. Miller Bainbridge is expected to benefit from the review.

The company will also look at the prospect of Miller Bainbridge taking responsibility for part of the acquisition work. Toyota is said to have been impressed with the way the agency has conducted its customer relationship management programme and is looking to set up a system for dealing with prospects conducted on similar principles.

Toyota's marketing director, Paul Philpott, said: "We are looking at whether there is a more effective way of acquiring prospects, and to see how we can better manage our relationship with each potential client. We want to become much more relationship driven.

"There may be some role for Miller Bainbridge, but it's more than likely that WWAV will have a role to play in our prospect marketing as well."

Toyota is hoping to have completed the review by Christmas, with a view to implementing its conclusions by 1 January 2003.

WAAV was given the Toyota business without a pitch in June 1999, replacing Joshua. However, the agency lost the £1 million Lexus account to Partners Andrews Aldridge in October 2001 following a three-way pitch. Miller Bainbridge has worked on the Toyota roster since 1998.

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