The BMW/Rover media centralisation, which started last spring (Campaign,
28 April 1995), is set to hit the UK in the next few weeks as the two
car manufacturers finalise plans to centralise all their media planning
BMW and Rover have decided to pool their media resources on a market-by-
market basis across Europe. The review is designed to maximise supplier
cost benefits following BMW’s purchase of Rover in 1994.
Their combined spend of around pounds 65 million is the third largest in
the UK car market.
In each European market the review will only concern the incumbent media
agencies. In the UK, this means a head-to-head clash for the pounds 65
million business between Zenith Media, which handles the pounds 55
million Rover media account, and WCRS, which holds the pounds 10 million
full-service BMW business.
Initiative Media, which has historically handled all of Rover’s media
business on the Continent, will not be invited to pitch for the UK
Initiative is understood to have landed the centralised BMW/Rover
business in Spain. However, its pooled pan-European Rover account could
effectively be dismantled as it pitches against BMW’s buying company in
The UK review is expected to be concluded by the end of May. The
creative accounts will not be affected.