Omnicom has lured French car giant Peugeot away from Havas after 30 years – with a new bespoke agency called (bear with us) O.P.EN, short for OMNICOM for PEUGEOT Engine. O.P.EN becomes Peugeot’s global agency of record on a three-year deal.
The pitch was managed by the Paris office of Observatory International which works with the World Federation of Advertisers (WFA.)
Jean-Philippe Imparato, CEO of the Peugeot brand (Peugeot is owned by PSA which also owns Citroen, Opel and Vauxhall) says: “O.P.EN will support us in order to accelerate the transformation of our brand. By leveraging the best talents and the most efficient technologies from Omnicom wherever they are located, Peugeot will benefit from a new, integrated, informed and internationally-focused agency model.”
Omnicom senior VP Jean Marie Prenaud says: “We are thrilled and honoured to partner with the iconic Peugeot brand to jointly write the next chapter with a focus on innovation and global growth.”
It’s certainly a coup for Omnicom and a highly unpleasant surprise for Havas/BETC (French agencies have a near-monopoly of big French clients.) Carmakers appear to like bespoke agencies – Jaguar Land Rover, Hyundai and, formerly, Ford’s above-the-line work at WPP’s GTB – although their performance has been mixed.
Omnicom has gone down this route in recent times too, notably WeAreUnlimited’s short-lived relationship with McDonald’s. Increasingly, though, major advertisers are looking for an all-encompassing offer based on tech and the promised land of digital “transformation.”