MediaCom celebrates pounds 80m Volkswagen win

MediaCom TMB has leapt to number three in the media league table after Volkswagen UK handed the agency its pounds 80 million centralised planning and buying account.

MediaCom TMB has leapt to number three in the media league table

after Volkswagen UK handed the agency its pounds 80 million centralised

planning and buying account.



MediaCom pitched for the business against the incumbent, BBJ, and New

PHD six months ago and the decision was finally announced at the end of

last week. It means BBJ will lose more than a third of its billings,

which were pounds 190 million in 1998.



The account embraces media planning and buying for all of Volkswagen’s

divisions, including Volkswagen commercial vehicles, Seat, Skoda and

Audi, which together spent around pounds 80 million on advertising last

year.



The UK review follows a similar review in Volkswagen’s home territory of

Germany last year. MediaCom wrested the business from Carat in Germany

last year and although it is understood that there was no Europe-wide

diktat to use the MediaCom network, local offices were encouraged to

consider handing their business to the agency.



However, BBJ last week issued a statement claiming that the agency was

’fully endorsed by the Volkswagen management in the UK, who recommended

BBJ’s retention. The decision was taken in Germany.’



Bernard Bradley, Volkswagen’s communications manager, admitted: ’The

decision was a difficult one, but MediaCom’s track record and vision for

the future was decisive.’



The win is a boost for MediaCom TMB, which was formed from the merger of

Grey’s MediaCom and the Media Business earlier this year. MediaCom’s

chief executive, Steve Allan, said: ’We presented to the UK team and are

delighted that they appointed us. It doesn’t get much better than

this.’



Jerry Buhlmann, BBJ’s chief executive, said: ’This is clearly a setback

for BBJ. However, to put it in context, the loss of Volkswagen only

equates to the new-business gains made by the agency in 1998.’



Perspective, p17.



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