BMW of North America has placed its estimated $14 million Western Region Dealer Association ad account in review.
Select Resources International here has been tapped to conduct the review, said SRI senior partner Catherine Bension.
Incumbent Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles will defend the Western business against Publicis, New York, and five Californian agencies: Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito; dGWB, Irvine; Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, San Francisco; Kovel Kresser & Partners, Santa Monica; and Seiniger Advertising, Beverly Hills.
"BMW owners are a group of vigorous enthusiasts," said Fran O'Hagan, newly appointed sales and marketing manager for BMW's Western region. "We need an agency that can transfer that message."
Publicis, which handles creative and media planning for BMW's Eastern and Southern dealer accounts, recently won the Central U.S. business from McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown in Chicago, giving the shop an estimated $32 million in dealer business.
Prior to the review, sources had expected the advertising duties for all regions to be consolidated at Publicis. However, "In order for Publicis to be considered, they will have to open a Los Angeles location," said O'Hagan.
It is yet to be determined whether media buying, currently handled by DeWitt Media in New York, will be included in the regional review, O'Hagan said. DeWitt is also the incumbent in the review for BMW's estimated $70 million national media buying and planning account for its cars.
The Marina del Rey, Calif., client will hold chemistry checks with shops this week.
--with Rob Lenihan and Scott Hume