BBDO has triumphed in the pitch for the £25 million global launch of the updated Mercedes C-Class following a final shoot-out against Shop.
The US-based advertising agency Merkley & Partners was also involved in the latter pitch stages. A spokesman for DaimlerChrysler, Mercedes-Benz's parent company, confirmed the appointment.
The news comes as a blow to Shop (which was formerly Campbell Doyle Dye) - while it remains Mercedes UK's agency of record, the appointment will divert significant spend to Shop's BBDO rival. Mercedes is Shop's largest-billing client.
A combined creative team from CLM/BBDO Paris and Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO in London worked on the Mercedes pitch. CLM/BBDO will now develop the launch advertising campaign for the C-Class model.
It is understood the agency will create a single global ad for the car, a move that marks a departure from Mercedes' previous promotional strategy of relying on regional advertising campaigns.
According to insiders, the new global strategy has been instigated to avoid duplication and to reduce the company's marketing budget. The campaign is due to break in Europe in the first half of 2007.
Eight agencies were originally involved in the review. Shop pitched alongside Zulu, the Omnicom-owned digital and direct network, which includes Agency Republic and Claydon Heely.
BBDO declined to comment on the appointment.
The C-Class launched in 2000 and is one of Mercedes-Benz's biggest-selling cars. Since the model's debut, the company has sold around 2.1 million vehicles.