Rover has stripped WCRS of the creative assignment on its pounds 30
million international account after only five months and consolidated
almost its entire business within M&C Saatchi.
The BMW-owned car manufacturer claimed its shock decision was ’to avoid
having all our eggs in one basket’ and keep the Rover brand separate
from the BMW and Land Rover business at WCRS.
The move came in the week in which WCRS unveiled the TV advertising for
the global launches of the 25 and 45 models, Rover’s new generation of
family cars, which are crucial to the beleaguered company’s
M&C Saatchi will generate all Rover’s creative work out of London. It
will be distributed through local agencies. The extra work comes just
four months after the agency won the creative task for the pounds 40
million UK account.
The reasons given by Rover for its decision will seem puzzling given
that it was already aware of the large volume of BMW business at WCRS
when it assigned the account.
Industry sources say Rover appointed WCRS in haste because conflicting
car business in other networks limited its choice and because of the
urgent need to have an agency in place to launch the 25 and 45.
Insiders believe WCRS has been living on borrowed time since it failed
to add Rover’s UK account to the international business it had won. They
claim it has been caught in the crossfire between Rover’s UK and
international managements, which disagree about the way the 25 and 45
should be promoted.
Robin Wight, the WCRS chairman, said: ’We are proud to have done a most
successful launch campaign for the 25 and 45, which is now running in 36
countries. But given the dominance of Rover’s UK sales, it makes sense
for Rover’s UK agency to be the global agency.’
A Rover spokesman said the company was bringing Rover into line with the
strategy for Land Rover, which used WCRS as its global agency.
’We’ve been delighted with the work of M&C Saatchi and WCRS,’ he
’But we felt that having two agencies would be a good way of finding out
whether two or one would be the best option.’
The M&C Saatchi and WCRS campaigns for the 25 and 45 contrast
The UK work presents the cars in unusual settings such as a giant
pinball machine and a roulette wheel. The seven WCRS films focus on the
engineering and styling of cars under the theme, ’You know the
Perspective, page 2.