Volvo to Pick Lead Shop To Handle Global Tasks

By David Kiley

NEW YORK–Volvo is considering selecting a lead global agency resource, possibly by year’s end, sources said last week. In realigning its advertising efforts for models sold globally, the Swedish automaker hopes to better focus its campaigns and reduce marketing costs.

The company’s core agencies are currently pitching for the assignment to launch Volvo’s new large sedan, which will likely be sold next year as the S80/V80 or S90/V90. The agency that secures responsibility will likely become the shop that handles global advertising for Volvo models that are sold worldwide.

‘Each market is controlled by a Volvo manager who has control over the advertising, and all that fragmentation leads to a very fragmented brand image,’ said one source. Under the new plan, sources said, the lead agency will set the creative direction, which will be distributed globally with little room for deviation.

Representatives for Volvo Cars North America and agency executives declined comment.

Volvo last year held an agency shoot-out among its leading international ad agencies for the launch of the C70 coupe, with Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG here winning the assignment. That was the start of implementing a global ad strategy, said one executive. Prior to the C70 pitch, Volvo executives gathered in Sweden to review its advertising from all its global markets.

‘There was a consensus that if Volvo is going to be a serious player, it needs to bring focus to its global brand,’ said a source. MVBMS parent Euro RSCG; Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, London; and Gramm Werbengentar in Germany are contenders in the contest. –with Jennifer Comiteau

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