PHD expands global relationship with VW to China, adding Skoda brand

Three-year deal consolidates both Volkswagen and Skoda brands from the joint venture under PHD, adding to its VW global business.

PHD expands global relationship with VW to China, adding Skoda brand

Omnicom media agency PHD has expanded its relationship with Volkswagen in a big way in China after winning a multi-agency pitch for SAIC Volkswagen, effective immediately. The three-year appointment, which one source close to the pitch estimates is worth total billings of up to US$850 million, will see PHD take on full media planning and buying duties for the Volkswagen and Skoda brands produced in mainland China under the joint venture between Volkswagen Group and SAIC Motor. 

In 2016, PHD won the global Volkswagen media account which included Volkswagen Group's global business in China but did not include the significant SAIC Volkswagen joint venture, which produces VW and Skoda cars in China. Shanghai-based SAIC Volkswagen's media business rested with Dentsu up until last year, when the media business was split between PHD servicing the Skoda-branded vehicles, and Mediacom, which served the VW vehicle business. After this win, both the VW and Skoda businesses under SAIC Volkswagen are consolidated with PHD China. 

Campaign understands that Mediacom, Publicis Media, UM and Havas also took part in the pitch and has reached out to them for comment. 

PHD China will service the business from its Shanghai office. The agency claims its proprietary platforms, data-driven insight and value-focused investment strategies played a role in its win. 

"Armed with PHD’s challenger mindset and the agency’s focus on innovation, creativity and collaboration, we demonstrated a strategic approach that combines the power of agile data strategies and innovative solutions to unlock new and exciting growth opportunities for their business”, said Claudine Kwek, CEO of Omnicom Media Group China. "We are truly honoured to partner SAIC Volkswagen on their ambitious journey in China." 

Both Volkswagen Group China and SAIC Volkswagen have announced major spending plans in China to focus on smart and energy efficient automobiles.