BSSP has resigned from the Mini account rather than go through another procurement-mandated review.
The agency initially won U.S. agency of record duties back in 2005 and later negotiated to extend a very unusual policy that required the brand to launch a new review every four years to six years. This approach originated within the procurement department of the brand’s parent company BMW in Germany.
In the 11 1/2 years then, BSSP has survived three rounds of CMO revolving door, two new heads of the Mini division and a 2012 global creative review to retain the business. During that period it created work like the 2016 Super Bowl ad “Defy Labels” and a series of billboards that knew everyone’s name.
But the client later shifted the media portion of its business to UM and began making more “aggressive cost-cutting” moves like centralizing the core brand creative with its own teams in Munich. As BSSP’s relationship with Mini became more project-based, the benefits of participating in another review that will involve less brand work and more social media/CRM became less and less clear.
CCO John Butler called this “a difficult decision” in the press release, and today CEO Greg Stern told us he’d never heard of mandated reviews before working with Mini, adding, “If the agency-client relationship is working, you maintain it.”
At the same time, the business has undoubtedly benefited BSSP in many ways, helping the agency score new accounts and attract talent. Recent wins include PowerBar and Nature Made.