Mercedes-Benz has begun an audit of its advertising arrangements in
the UK in a move that could lead to a full agency review.
Partners BDDH, Maher Bird Associates and Buckfield Lord are all
repitching to the client, although it is not thought that other agencies
have been approached.
Simon Oldfield, the general marketing manager for Mercedes, said: ’We
are reviewing our UK suppliers, and creative advertising is part of that
The bulk of Mercedes’ business in the UK is handled by Partners
MBA has been running the used car dealer network and corporate fleet
advertising since March 1996 and the Oxford-based agency, Buckfield
Lord, has the after-sales and trucks business.
Mercedes recently suffered a bitter split with its US agency, Lowe &
Partners, due to management difficulties and the relationship of Lowes’
parent network, the Interpublic Group, with General Motors.
The account moved to Omnicom’s Merkley Newman Harty. The pan-European
business is run through the German agency, Springer & Jacoby, which
recently set up a London office.
Partners BDDH won the account at the beginning of 1997 when Leo Burnett
resigned it due to conflict with its international client, Fiat
(Campaign, 24 January 1997). Although Leo Burnett in the UK had nothing
to do with the international business, Fiat was uncomfortable about
Mercedes’ imminent move into the compact car business with the launch of