Volvo Car Corp. is reviewing its centralized global creative advertising which is managed by the marketing team at corporate headquarters and is distributed and customized locally. Arnold Worldwide, Amsterdam, is lead agency for Volvo’s VCC Central Marketing.
However, the review is understood to only include that business. Other Volvo assignments with local Arnold and Havas agencies, along with digital and data-driven relationship marketing shop Havas EHS are not part of the current brief. In April, for instance, Arnold Boston, as part of its working relationship with Volvo Cars of North America, launched a new campaign positioning Volvo as an alternative luxury brand.
Arnold and corporate sibling Havas will participate in the review, with pitch presentations planned for September, sources said. It’s not believed that a consultant is managing the process and an agency shortlist has yet to be formulated. In 2012, Volvo spent $53 million in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. It could not be determined what portion of that was spent on work from VCC Central Marketing.
The review comes under new top management at Volvo, sluggish sales and increasing pressure from dealers in North America, the brand’s largest market. In October, Volvo replaced its CEO, Stefan Jacoby, with Hakan Samuelsson, a former chief at German truck manufacturer MAN SE. Last month, the company promoted Alain Visser to svp., marketing, sales and customer service, replacing Doug Speck who left the company. In 2012, Volvo reported a 6 percent drop in car sales and warned sales and profits were under pressure because of intense competition in the automotive category.
Volvo execs in Gothenburg, Sweden couldn’t immediately be reached.
Robert LePlae, who was named Arnold Worldwide CEO in January, could not be reached but released a statement about the search process: “There’s new global leadership at Volvo who are rightly coming in and looking at all aspects of the business, specifically the centrally-created advertising in Amsterdam. I’m new, too, at Arnold and we’ve done our own assessment. This leaves us excited about our continuing work on the U.S. creative and digital, as well as eager and confident for the opportunity at the review to show Volvo what we can do on central branding.”