Porsche has called a global media review, the client has confirmed.
Worldwide ad spending is approximately $80 million. In the U.S., the client's largest market, spending totaled about $20 million last year, down from $33 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Those figures, however, do not include digital outlays, a significant part of the strategy, which is highly targeted and combines new-media outreach with print and direct marketing efforts.
The North American incumbent is Chicago-based independent Cramer-Krasselt, which won full-service duties on the account in 2007 after a review. (The creative portion of the account at C-K is not in play.)
The pitch is being handled out of Germany and follows an announcement late last year that Volkswagen and Porsche are merging.
As it stands now, the media review covers all Porsche markets, including key territories like North America, the U.K., Germany, Italy and China. VW media is not part of the process.
But there's a chance that could change. Porsche Cars North America was displeased with the decision to review, and is lobbying its corporate parent to allow it to stick with C-K, according to sources.
Given that dynamic, C-K is taking a wait and see position, waiting on the sidelines until the domestic unit of Porsche and its German management settle the issue, sources said. The agency declined comment.
A North American rep for the client confirmed that a global review was in progress and said no further information was available.
Ironically, a similar turn of events transpired five years ago when VW conducted a global review and its U.S. subsidiary wished to remain with Havas' MPG, while the parent wanted to consolidate with WPP's MediaCom, which handled the non-U.S. portion of the business. Ultimately that battle was won by the parent and the N.A. business shifted to MediaCom.