Bates to oversee Seat’s UK relaunch task

Seat, the VW-owned Spanish car maker, is relaunching itself into the UK with advertising to build its tiny market share.

Seat, the VW-owned Spanish car maker, is relaunching itself into

the UK with advertising to build its tiny market share.



Senior executives of the company are understood to have briefed Bates UK

about a print and TV campaign - backed by a budget of several million

pounds - to break within the next few weeks.



The initiative marks the most significant advertising for the Seat brand

in Britain since a pounds 2 million TV campaign four years ago through

the then Leagas Shafron Davis.



The company laid down its marker earlier this month with a full-page ad

in The Sunday Times for its Ibiza model.



The advertising is expected to revolve around three models and to open

with a promotion for the Leon, Seat’s equivalent of the VW Polo.



It is the result of a growing belief by Seat chiefs that there is a

market opportunity for their small- and medium-sized models in the

UK.



The campaign is not expected to dwell on Seat’s VW parentage for fear of

cannibalising VW sales. ’It’s a tricky problem because people think of

Seat as a Spanish Fiat,’ an industry source said. ’But the brand doesn’t

want to present itself as a cheap VW.’



Bates Europe took over Seat’s pounds 100 million international account

in April 1998, the business having previously been split between the

former Wilkens network and the Barcelona agency, Casadevall Pedrano.



Leagas Shafron, a Wilkens network agency, attracted PR hype for its 1996

campaign comprising eight spoof soap opera commercials which were each

screened just once.



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