Rover will have an ’agency within an agency’ at M&C Saatchi after
the car-maker’s decision to assign it the creative task on its pounds 40
million UK account.
A dedicated team is being put together under Moray MacLennan, the
agency’s joint chief executive, to run the business and up to half a
dozen extra staff - including planners, account handlers and creatives -
will be hired.
A visit to the agency last Thursday by John Sanders, Rover’s marketing
director, to confirm it had won the four-way pitch was the signal to
begin work with launch commercials for the company’s new models set to
go into production soon.
Media buying remains with Zenith although media planning will be handled
by M&C Saatchi.
MacLennan conceded that setting up a separate group was a departure from
the agency’s usual practice but claimed it was necessary because of
Rover’s particular needs.
The move reflects the high priority being given to the business and, in
particular, the launch before Christmas of Rover’s mass and mid-market
25 and 45 models - which will replace the 200 and 400 cars - on which
the beleaguered company’s immediate future depends.
Sanders said he was confident that M&C Saatchi’s experience on major UK
brands such as British Airways and BT could be turned to Rover’s
advantage and cited the agency’s ’quality of strategic thinking and
creative approach’ as the reason for the appointment.
The 25 will compete directly with the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo while the
45 takes on the Ford Focus and the VW Golf.
M&C Saatchi’s appointment was rubber-stamped by senior executives of
Rover’s BMW parent in Germany last week after a pitch which included the
incumbent, Ammirati Puris Lintas, HHCL & Partners and WCRS, which will
launch the 25 and 45 models in Europe.
MacLennan promised the agency’s work would be ’brutally simple’, adding:
’We have to make it clear what Rover stands for.’