WPP gets quick return on Taxi as it joins VW roster

WPP boss Sir Martin Sorrell will be feeling pleased this morning as his investment in Canadian creative agency Taxi has paid off with the agency’s Amsterdam outpost being appointed to the Volkswagen agency roster.

Taxi, founded by Paul Lavoie (pictured) and Jane Hope in 1992, was bought by WPP last November.

As ever with these things some shuffling of the furniture may be required as Taxi was originally slated to join the Young & Rubicam Brands part of WPP and RKCR/Y&R in London handles Jaguar. Taxi also handles (or handled) BMW-owned Mini in Canada.

But VW is the biggest car producer in Europe with numerous brands ranging from core VW through Audi, Skoda, Bentley and even Bugatti and may take over as the world’s biggest car company by volume from Toyota this year as the Japanese company wrestles with post-tsunami production problems.

Taxi beat some stiff competition for the VW slot including, according to Campaign, London agencies Adam & Eve and Mother and Swedish digital outfit Farfar.

DDB is VW’s main agency in Europe (Deutsch handles the account in the US) and may be relieved to see the relatively unknown Taxi trespassing on its patch rather than formidable Mother and happening London agency of the moment Adam & Eve.

But Taxi itself has a formidable reputation in Canada. Maybe it will turn out to be the creative spearhead WPP needs, rather like Deutsch is for rival Interpublic. Interpublic boss Michael Roth might be wondering, in the light of this appointment, why he hasn’t so far attempted to export Deutsch to Europe (maybe it’s the name).

If he ever does he may well decide to consult estate agents in Amsterdam which continues to be a strong rival to London as the European creative hub.

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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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