VW moves £20m outdoor task to Gen

LONDON - Volkswagen Group has moved its estimated £20 million outdoor media planning and buying business from the WPP-owned MediaCom and Kinetic to the independent outdoor specialist Gen Outdoor without a pitch.

VW...Gen Outdoor takes media business
VW...Gen Outdoor takes media business

The business includes the VW-owned Audi, Seat, Skoda, Lamborghini, Bentley and Bugatti, as well as VW brands.

Volkswagen Group's outdoor media was previously handled by the Aegis-owned Posterscope, but the business moved into Kinetic, which is 50 per cent owned by WPP, in February 2007 after the outdoor agency won the contract to handle MediaCom's £84 million account.

MediaCom has handled VW's offline media planning and buying for more than ten years.

Gen Outdoor works on a fee basis, as opposed to the remuneration system that most outdoor specialists operate.

The company sparked a debate around the remuneration of outdoor media agencies in 2006 by writing to major advertisers offering to save up to 20 per cent on their outdoor budget each year by reinvesting money that would normally be returned on commission.

Launched in 2003, Gen is run by three former directors of Blade, Malcolm Thomas, Nick Maddison and Steve Wilson, and the ex-Mills & Allen sales and marketing director, Michael Higgins.

Its clients include Twentieth Century Fox and Samsung.