Saab invites agencies to pitch for its global ad account – if it can find some money

Agencies are famous (notorious?) for their optimism but they are about to receive an email request for information (RFI) from troubled Swedish carmaker Saab that will test their faith in human nature to the limit.

Campaign reports that the company is approaching agencies about its global ad account, worth a supposed £70m (well maybe it was once).

The trouble is that since it was bought from General Motors by tiny Dutch sports car maker Spyker it hasn’t had enough money to pay its suppliers (which makes assembling cars quite difficult), thereby making an ad campaign rather redundant.

Now its hopes rest in a deal with big Chinese car dealer Pangda worth a reported €110m. But €110m is hardly enough to run even a tiny international car company (it’s not that much more than the supposed global ad budget).

One doesn’t want to kick a company when it’s down but whoever’s orchestrating Saab’s fortunes badly needs a reality check. The deal with Spyker was never going to be sufficient, Pangda looks as though it just wants a batch of European cars to serve the insatiable Chinese market and Saab’s marketing cum procurement department is having a laugh.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

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