Renault has invited agencies to pitch for the centralisation of its
pounds 360 million pan-European media planning and buying arrangements
as part of a major cost-cutting exercise.
Although Optimedia, the incumbent on the pounds 86 million UK account,
handles the lion’s share of the business throughout Europe, it shares
the roster with two other networks. Zenith handles the business in Spain
- a large market for the advertiser, and Initiative buys in the
Portuguese and Dutch markets. Optimedia has the account in Renault’s
headquarter country, France, and in a number of other European
In a statement issued this week, Europe’s biggest car manufacturer said
that from next year a single media buying house will buy on Renault’s
behalf in all areas of Europe to sustain a consistent brand
A shortlist of agencies is being drawn up and will be announced within
the next three or four weeks, with a final result expected in three to
six months’ time. Renault has stated that it is not opposed to the idea
of including agencies that handle other car accounts.
The advertiser’s criteria for the successful bidder is the homogeneity
of the agency’s European network, its buying power and its level of
expertise in handling pan-European media accounts.
The decision brings Renault into line with Nissan, the company in which
it took a 44.4 per cent controlling stake in April 1999. Earlier this
year, Nissan’s entire media planning and buying account was centralised
into a new entity, TBWA.OMD, led by Manning Gottlieb Media in the
The efficacy of having two single, parallel media networks working on
the component brands is expected to influence whether a further
centralisation, combining Renault and Nissan, will take place.
The exact nature of the pitch is as yet unclear, although it is likely
to be price- rather than strategy-led. No-one at Optimedia or Renault
was available for comment as Campaign went to press.