Mercedes-Benz Places Its Global Media Business in Review

Publicis Groupe won creative and digital work in February

Estimates place the brand's annual paid media spend at over a billion dollars. Getty Images
Headshot of Patrick Coffee

Less than three months after naming Publicis Groupe as Mercedes-Benz’s new global digital and creative agency partner, German auto giant Daimler AG has launched a worldwide media agency review for the brand, a company spokesman confirmed today.

“We are currently pitching to pool our media activities in major Mercedes-Benz markets,” the representative said in a statement. The spokesperson declined to elaborate, adding only that “in the course of the ongoing process we are not able to comment on specific details of this pitch” and that the results will be announced “shortly after completion of the process.”

It is unclear, then, which markets are involved in the review. According to multiple parties close to the brand, most major holding groups will be pitching.

Omnicom Media Group is currently incumbent on the business in the U.S. and Canada as well as South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while WPP’s GroupM handles large portions of the account in Europe and the Asia Pacific Region.

The news comes only days after Ford announced that it had launched a global creative review, and speculation holds that GroupM will aggressively pursue the business after losing several major accounts in recent months including Amgen, Marriott and Campbell. (The network’s Wavemaker division also recently won U.S. media duties for telecom company Altice.)

Spokespeople for Publicis Media, Omnicom Media Group, WPP’s GroupM and Dentsu all declined to comment regarding the news.

February’s win followed a six-month review and amounted to a coup of sorts for Publicis, which quickly saw its stock price rise as it announced plans to open a dedicated division in Berlin named Emil in honor of early 20th century automotive entrepreneur Emil Jellinek.

Various estimates have Daimler AG spending several billion dollars on paid media around the world each year, and Mercedes-Benz is its largest brand.

In last month’s earnings call, the company predicted “slightly” higher earnings totals for 2018 based largely on increased sales for popular luxury models despite an industry-wide shift toward electric cars.

@PatrickCoffee Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.