ZenithOptimedia lands strategic planning role for Toyota's B-Zero

Toyota has awarded the pan-European strategic planning task for the launch of its new small car, the B-Zero, to ZenithOptimedia.

ZenithOptimedia picked up the work following a three-way pitch, beating Vizeum and Naked Inside, the communications planning joint venture between Clemmow Hornby Inge and Naked.

Media buying will be handled by local agencies.

The B-Zero is set to launch next year and is expected to target 18- to 35-year-olds. Its development is part of an effort by the car manufacturer to increase its share of the small car market.

ZenithOptimedia already handles media planning and buying for Toyota in four European markets including the UK.

ZenithOptimedia's sister agency Saatchi & Saatchi is the lead ad agency for the brand across Europe. However, CHI was awarded the above-the-line advertising account for the B-Zero in February following a pitch against Saatchi & Saatchi and the Hull-based agency Attik.

Saatchis' relationship with Toyota in the US came under attack last year when Attik's sister agency in San Francisco won the launch brief for the Toyota Scion in the US.

The car manufacturer is the world's fourth-biggest advertiser, spending $2.5 billion a year globally.

Toyota backs up its above- the-line advertising with a customer magazine, called In Front, which has a circulation of 350,000.

Last summer, Toyota reappointed Just Customer Communications to publish the magazine, which it lost to Miller Bainbridge four years earlier.

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