- Volvo Cars is close to handing its US$50 million pan-European advertising account to Messner Vetere Berger McNammee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG.
The move will give the agency, which currently has only an office in New York, lead global agency status for the Swedish carmaker's account. The agency now has plans to open an office in Brussels where Volvo has its European headquarters. A formal appointment is expected as early as this week and is aimed at giving the company a more unified presence in the world's largest markets.
Messner Vetere already handles North America, while other Euro RSCG agencies handle the account in Australia and some parts of Asia.
The move was sparked in April when the carmaker began talks with a number of European networks about finding a new agency to drive creative for all future pan-European car launches.
The previous launch for the V70 was handled by the Gothenburg-based Forsman & Bodenfors, which had resigned the international account in March this year. It will continue to handle the business on a local level. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO handles the £24 million Volvo account in the UK. The appointment is not thought to affect that 22 year long relationship (check). Volvo has seen some rapid changes since its acquisition by Ford last year. It recently consolidated its US$200 million European media account into Mindshare after holding media pitches against local incumbents in 17 separate markets. New PHD continues to handle the £20 million UK account.
It was a ground breaking move for the car brand which traditionally has used a number of creative and media agencies across the region. Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper has denied that the network's relationship with Volvo will have any effect on its handling of Peugeot and Citroen in the UK.
"Euro RSCG is a PSA network in Europe," Brett Gosper, chief executive at Euro RSCG said. "Messner is not setting up a network in Europe to handle Volvo and neither will it be using the existing one. All parties know the importance of the relationships involved."