APL to repitch for Rover’s DM brief

Rover Group has started a review of its pounds 7 million direct marketing account, currently held by its above-the-line shop, Ammirati Puris Lintas.

Rover Group has started a review of its pounds 7 million direct

marketing account, currently held by its above-the-line shop, Ammirati

Puris Lintas.



The account comprises the three Rover marques handled by APL - Rover,

Mini and MG. Land Rover’s direct marketing, which is handled by Craik

Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel, is unaffected by the review.



APL will repitch for the business against Craik Jones, which also

handles Rover Group’s international strategic direct marketing, and one

other below-the-line roster shop, Evans Hunt Scott, which has worked for

BMW, Rover’s parent company, since 1991.



Pitches will take place within the next two weeks. The review, which

will concentrate particularly on relationship marketing, is being led by

John Lowndes, Rover UK’s marketing director.



News of the review will be a blow for APL, which has sought to retain

the integrated credentials of Rover’s former though-the-line shop, Kevin

Morley Marketing (briefly Lintas i), following its acquisition two years

ago. KMM handled Rover’s entire business from television commercials to

coffee mats and brochures.



Chris Thomas, the managing director of APL, said: ’Rover is reviewing

its approach to integration. APL has done some excellent work for

Rover.



We hope to convince Rover that a total integrated approach is the right

route for the business.’



Industry sources say Rover has changed its views on integrated

advertising following its acquisition by the German car giant, BMW, in

1994.



BMW uses above-the-line agency, WCRS, to generate ads but channels its

direct marketing through a number of specialist agencies.



Last year, APL lost the pounds 7 million dealership advertising account

to the Swindon-based Emery McLaven Orr.



Nicki Darzinskas, the marketing and communications director of Rover,

said: ’We have operated on Land Rover with above- and below-the-line

agencies for some years. We want to make sure we are effective with the

rest of the business.’



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