VW drops DDB in the US as global ad review lumbers on

Adweek reckons that Omnicom’s DDB has been cut from VW’s North America pitch, part of a massive global review that plans to appoint teams from holding companies on regional basis.

DDB made its name in New York handling Volkswagen back in the days of black and white TV but hasn’t handled the account for decades. Incumbent Deutsch is also eliminated along with owner Interpublic so there’ll be a new pair of hands – from either Publicis or WPP – on the business. Tough on Deutsch which produced the celebrated ‘Darth Vader’ Super Bowl spot.

DDB, as far as we know, is still in the running for VW in Europe where the German car giant is key to its fortunes. DDB in London has handled VW for as long as anyone can remember and its German office co-ordinates Europe.

Publicis and WPP both have obvious conflicts with VW. Publicis handles Renault and recently won Mercedes while WPP remains on the Ford global roster despite losing Ford creative in the US to a combo of Wieden+Kennedy and Omnicom’s BBDO.

There are more big car brands these days than there are agency holding companies, which creates an obvious problem for advertisers if they go this route. The holding companies have their “silo” creative networks of course – currently on the CFO’s naughty step – so that’s one way out, or they can create bespoke agencies as Publicis has done for Mercedes and WPP did for Ford with GTB.

Do these produce the best work though?

W+K’s new Ford campaign in the US with Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston is the best car creative to appear for years. Indicating, perhaps, that the old way of doing things may still be the best.

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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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