Jaguar’s decision to fire Euro RSCG and launch its own ad agency Spark 44 remains mysterious but some light has been shed on the line-up of former admen and marketing executives behind Spark 44.
My chum Stuart Smith reckons the eminence grise is former Porsche sales and marketing boss Dr Hans Riedel, now a consultant to Jaguar Land Rover and its Indian owner Tata Motors.
Riedel, who also worked at BMW in the US and before that agency Young & Rubicam made his reputation by positioning Porsche as an accessible luxury brand (don’t laugh, it worked) and greatly broadened the company’s reach by supporting the launch of the Cayenne 4×4, a huge if slightly perplexing success.
And it is he, according to Stuart, who recruited the Spark 44 gang of account men Alastair Duncan and Steve Woolford (both with big agency experience) and creatives Bruce Dundore and Werner Krainz.
Well the boys have something to prove to a sceptical advertising world although they will no doubt point to the relative success Hyundai has enjoyed in the US through in-house agency Innocean.
Come to think of it, General Motors’ new global CMO Joel Ewanick, the white tornado of the car marketing business, used to be at Hyundai.
Surely Joel can’t be planning his own agency somewhere along the line. Can he?