McLaren gears up for global ad drive – but no more Button and Hamilton please

The UK-based McLaren motor racing empire is looking for an ad agency to handle a global advertising campaign for its new range of high end sports cars according to a report in Campaign.

McLaren Automotive, which has so far produced the £170,000 MP4-12C car, is now run directly by company boss Ron Dennis who stepped down as the Formula One racing team’s manager last year.

McLaren competes with the likes of Ferrari, Porsche, Aston Martin and Volkswagen-owned Lamborghini in the supercar stakes and advertising doesn’t usually play a very prominent role in the advertising of such monsters.

But that won’t stop hordes of eager agencies battering the mobiles of consultants Oystercatchers who are handling the pitch. The first request from the eager agencies will doubtless be to drive an MP4, to fully ‘interrogate’ the product as WCRS founder Robin Wight (another car nut) used to put it.

McLaren is synonymous with its two F1 drivers, laid-back Jenson Button and anything-but Lewis Hamilton, who’s been conducting a bitter feud with Ferrari’s Felipe Massa all season. Assuming Hamilton stays with McLaren, it’s likely that the deadly duo will be lined up to appear in some ads.

Here’s one from Vodafone and Bartle Bogle Hegarty.

Don’t do it Ron.

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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.