Leagas on alert as Hyundai talks to rivals

Leagas Delaney has been dealt a severe blow with news that Hyundai is talking to rival agencies as it looks to review its £12 million above-the-line advertising account.

Leagas Delaney has handled the South Korean car maker's account for ten years. It is the agency's biggest spending UK client.

The review will be overseen by Hyundai's marketing director, Jim Campbell, the former marketing director of Rolls-Royce. He was appointed last October to administer the implementation of its market-leading warranty programme.

Leagas Delaney relaunched the brand and most recently created a multimillion-pound TV campaign to support the introduction of the brand's five-year transferable unlimited mileage warranty.

The executions, which broke in August, featured the song I'm Sticking With You by The Velvet Underground.

The review is not thought to affect the rest of the Hyundai roster. At present PHD and ZenithOptimedia UK handle the company's media planning and buying.

Back in July, Hyundai shifted its below-the-line focus to concentrate more on CRM activity with the appointment of the Carlson Marketing Group following a three-way pitch.

Hyundai is the largest car manufacturer in Korea. Its UK sales have risen by 9.53 per cent in the year to the end of October 2003 when, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, it sold more than 27,000 vehicles.

In the previous six-month period it recorded a 1.38 per cent market share, putting in its best performance since launching in the UK in 1982.