Agency behemoths off to Germany for last round VW pitches

Adweek reckons that teams from Omnicom, Interpublic and WPP are trekking off to Wolfsburg next week to complete the pitch for VW’s ad account – about to be split into regional ‘hubs’ in new VW CMO Jochen Sengpiehl’s big new plan. VW spent $6.7bn on advertising in 2016 although Sengpiehl says he wants to spend less on TV ads with more on video.

He says he wants to create an “agency powerhouse” for each region. Currently IPG’s Deutsch handles VW in the US while Omnicom’s DDB takes Europe.

On the face of it there isn’t much wrong with VW’s advertising, it’s been best in sector in many parts of the world ever since it employed DDB in the US back in 1959 (below). It’s certainly had fewer problems with its advertising than it has with diesel emissions, still rumbling on in a German court and which have cost at least $10bn so far.

WPP is an interesting contender. It’s currently in the midst of a protracted Ford review, an account it’s handled for decades latterly through bespoke agency GTB. Ford recently announced that Wieden+Kennedy would handle its US fall campaign with WPP providing the heavy lifting. If WPP is still pitching for this as a group – with Wunderman to the fore – it’s hard to see how it could handle VW too. But as they’re off to Germany..

Maybe Chinese walls, so beloved of the financial community, are appearing in adland too. And there may be four or so big VW accounts up for grabs.

A decision is expected in October or early November says Adweek.

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