The tyre manufacturer has most recently collaborated with Bartle Bogle Hegarty, although the agency claims it has not created work for the brand since earlier this year. BBH will not repitch for the global brief as it handles Pirelli’s rival Goodyear in some markets.
Sources said Pirelli has approached 13 agencies directly to invite them to pitch for the business, which is understood to comprise TV and print activity. The company declined to comment.
Pirelli has used a number of agencies in recent years. Before BBH’s appointment in 2012, it worked with Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam, Armando Testa and Leo Burnett. Other shops on its roster include 72andSunny and M&C Saatchi.
Y&R created Pirelli’s most famous advertising campaign in the 90s. "Power is nothing without control" starred the sprinter Carl Lewis.
Pirelli fired Y&R in 1999 over a TV campaign featuring the Brazilian football star Ronaldo, who had previously appeared in a controversial poster mimicking the figure of Christ overlooking Rio de Janeiro. However, the company reappointed the agency ten years later.
As part of its marketing efforts, Pirelli has published a calendar featuring models since 1964. The theme for the 2015 calendar is "fetish" and it features Karen Elson.