The chemicals giant has approached a number of network agencies and asked them to tender for the briefs.
Credentials meetings are due to be completed and returned to the client within the coming month, and the pitch proper is scheduled to begin in early 2008. The process will be handled by Agency Insight.
The winning creative shop will be handed the German client's entire above-the-line business, which covers the global brand work for BASF, as well as regional tactical executions for its 14 separate operating divisions.
The divisions include Chemicals, Plastics, Performance Products (tailor-made plastics), Oil & Gas (via its subsidiary, Wintershall Holding AG) and Agricultural Products & Nutrition. The winning media agency will also be expected to handle both planning and buying for the company.
McCann Erickson Manchester and Universal McCann have previously worked for BASF, but it does not currently retain UK agencies.
Launched in 1867, BASF is a global business that employs 95,000 people in more than 1,000 offices across more than 200 countries.
The company, which posted sales of EUR56.2 million for 2006, is expanding its international activities with a specific focus on Asia. Between 1990 and 2005, it invested EUR5.6 billion in Asia, including sites near Nanjing and Shanghai, China.