Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has won the contest to handle the pounds 40
million launch of Volvo’s new medium-range car across Europe.
Neither agency nor client were able to confirm the win but industry
sources say Abbott Mead has been awarded the task of introducing the
Volvo S4 after a pitch involving the Swedish automaker’s roster agencies
in key European markets.
The assignment represents a huge vote of confidence in the agency, which
has handled Volvo’s pounds 26 million UK account for the past 17 years
but has never before been given the pan-European launch of a new model.
Nobody at Volvo was available for comment as Campaign went to press and
Andrew Robertson, Abbott Mead’s managing director, would neither confirm
nor deny the appointment.
‘I cannot and will not comment on the future plans of any of our
clients,’ he said.
But it is understood the agency has been given the nod ahead of other
Volvo roster shops in Scandinavia, France, Germany, Italy and Spain.
A large proportion of the budget is expected to be spent on launching
the car in the UK, where sales of the S4 and its F4 estate version are
expected to top 20,000 in 1997.
The S4, unveiled at last month’s Motor Show and available in the UK from
next spring, begins a major initiative by Volvo in the fiercely
competitive family-car market and launches a strategy of unveiling a new
model every year for the next five years.
The S4, priced at between pounds 12,000 and pounds 15,000, will compete
directly against the Ford Mondeo, the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 series while
looking to steal sales from the smaller Mercedes models.
At the same time, Volvo is hopeful that the new model will further
extend its appeal beyond its core market of mature motorists and attract
younger drivers who may otherwise have gone for Rover, Ford, Vauxhall or
The S4, developed in collaboration with Mitsubishi of Japan, is being
built in Holland and is regarded as the eventual replacement for the 400
which is expected to be phased out.
One of the tasks of the advertising will be to persuade existing 400
customers to trade up to the larger and more expensive S4.