The Korean car company has invited both UK and European agencies to pitch for the business. A decision is expected by March.
The car maker spent £22 million on UK media in 2007 across its car brands, according Nielsen Media Research. Mustoes, Kia's UK agency, is not involved in the pitch.
The successful agency will develop strategy and adver-tising for the C'eed model across Europe, and will work closely with Kia's in-house agency, Innocean Worldwide.
The search follows key changes to the car company's marketing arrangements.
In June 2007, it appointed Simon Hetherington, the former Toyota marketer, as its first UK marketing director. Hetherington was recruited by Paul Philpott, the managing director, who also joined Kia from Toyota at the beginning of last year.
In June 2007, the company kicked off a search for a global DM agency, and put its intern-ational (non-US) media task up for pitch a month later.
Last week, it appointed Interpublic's Initiative as its US media agency following a pitch against Havas Media and the incumbent, Aegis Group's Carat.
Recently, both Kia and its sister company, Hyundai, have introduced a strategy of holding separate advertising pitches for individual models. Last week, Hyundai hired Mother to launch its new i10 model across Europe following a four-way pitch.