Agencies contending in the Porsche global media review, called in February, include WPP Group's MediaCom, Publicis Groupe shops Optimedia and Starcom and Havas' MPG, according to sources. In addition, the Omnicom Media Group, the unit that oversees both OMD and PHD, is also participating, per sources.
The North American incumbent, Chicago-based Cramer-Krasselt, was not invited to pitch, per sources, given that the client is looking for a global media solution. C-K, which won full-service duties on the account in 2007 after a review, continues to handle creative chores, which are not in play.
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 pitch is being handled out of Germany and follows the merger, announced late last year, between Volkswagen and Porsche. MediaCom currently handles the Volkswagen media assignment.
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.
Early in the review process Porsche Cars North America had lobbied its corporate parent to allow it to remain with C-K, according to sources. But the parent denied the request and North America is unequivocally a part of the review process, a client rep confirmed several weeks ago.
The contenders and C-K declined comment or referred calls to the client. The client did not immediately respond for comment.