BMW is set to launch its first global ad campaign following the
appointment of WCRS as its lead creative agency worldwide. The win is
expected to net WCRS an extra pounds 15 million of BMW billing.
Like Mercedes-Benz and Audi before it, the German car manufacturer has
decided that its advertising, which until now has been run separately in
each individual country, needs more global cohesion.
WCRS has been charged with the task of providing a creative direction
for BMW’s ads, in addition to developing global campaigns.
Although the individual BMW marques are well-known in each of the
company’s markets, the feeling at BMW’s headquarters in Munich is that
the brand itself may have been neglected. The car giant is therefore
considering a global branding campaign to address this problem, although
it is understood that no final decision has yet been made.
Robin Wight, the chairman of WCRS, confirmed the agency’s new global
role but declined to give further details. ‘We’re very happy that we are
expanding our relationship with BMW to become one of its global
communications partners,’ he said.
BMW has tried once before to have a lead advertising agency, having
handed the French shop, BDDP, the task of creating a pan-European
campaign five years ago. However, this did not work out and the car
maker has lacked global direction for the past 18 months.
News of the win broke as WCRS braced itself for the outcome of a winner-
takes-all fight against Zenith Media to handle UK media for BMW and its
subsidiary, Rover. The agency is pitching with Rover’s European media
buyer, Initiative Media, in a bid to secure the combined pounds 65
million account (Campaign, 31 May).
The two moves are unconnected and a decision on the UK media is not
expected until next week at the earliest.