Land Rover shifts global task to JWT

J. Walter Thompson is poised to take control of the global advertising account for Land Rover, the off-road brand bought by the Ford Motor Company earlier this year.

J. Walter Thompson is poised to take control of the global

advertising account for Land Rover, the off-road brand bought by the

Ford Motor Company earlier this year.



Land Rover, which spends pounds 20 million on advertising in the UK

alone, has, until now, been a key global client of WCRS, which handles

the advertising for the brand’s former parent BMW. The account has been

expected to shift to a Ford roster agency since news of Ford’s purchase

broke in May.



Matthew Taylor, sales and marketing director of Land Rover, confirmed

that he had held talks with JWT. He said the discussions had centred on

how the agency handles its Ford-owned Jaguar account.



JWT’s Jaguar department is a bespoke global business unit which pools

all WPP resources and is run out of the agency’s London office. It is

thought that OgilvyOne is another of the WPP agencies in line to work on

the business.



Taylor said: ’We have to review as we go forward. There is a conflict of

interest with WCRS, which handles the BMW account.’



Robin Wight, the chairman of WCRS, said: ’BMW, alas a competitor to Land

Rover, means we must stand aside.’



Ford’s global advertising is handled by three key networks: JWT, Ogilvy

& Mather and Young & Rubicam. The latter two networks appear not to have

been contacted about Land Rover An agency insider explained: ’Y&R and

O&M are Ford marque agencies. The other brands are kept separate.’



The move is also consistent with rumoured plans for Ford’s luxury

brands, which include Jaguar, Aston Martin and Land Rover, to be

consolidated into JWT.



However, Taylor claimed there was no pressure to move the account into a

Ford roster shop. He said: ’We can use whichever agency is best for our

business.’ He added that the best agency may or may not be a Ford roster

shop.



It has not yet emerged how the talks with JWT will affect Land Rover’s

relations with its newly appointed US agency, GDS&M, which was hired in

May.



The US is a key growth market for Land Rover. Ford has stated that it

intends to increase US sales by between 20,000 and 30,000 units with

this year’s launch of the Freelander model.



WCRS picked up the Land Rover business in 1997. Since then it has

created award-winning campaigns including the recent Freelander spot,

which presented the vehicle as an animal being released into the wilds

of South Africa.



Topics