In-house agencies often seem a good idea – especially in the car industry it seems – but, in practice, seem to work less well.
But Spark44, which has handled the Jaguar bit of Tata-owned Jaguar Land Rover for four years, has taken a big step forward by picking up Land Rover from a gaggle of mostly WPP agencies, including Y&R and Wunderman.
Land Rover is the money earner in the JLR empire (although Jaguar is having a decent shot at challenging the likes of BMW and Mercedes) so to entrust it to Spark44 is an important move.
JLR global marketing communications director Anthony Bradbury says: “Extending our innovative Spark44 agency model to the Land Rover brand will maximise global marketing effectiveness and efficiency, enhancing consistency of approach and quality worldwide as we build on the tremendous momentum that both Jaguar and Land Rover brands have in the marketplace today.”
So far so fulsome. The response at WPP, owners of Y&R, Wunderman and Ogilvy which has also lost some business, won’t be as warm. Ford is WPP’s main car account but neither Jaguar or Land Rover compete with Ford so they slotted in perfectly from an agency point of view.
Ford sold Jaguar and Land Rover to Tata when it disbanded its Premier Automotive Group that also included Volvo.