IPG Eliminated From Global VW Review, Ending Deutsch’s 9-Year Relationship With Automaker

By Patrick Coffee 

There’s already been significant movement on the Volkswagen account this week as at least one major player is now out of the running for the global business.

IPG and its lead agency, Deutsch, were officially eliminated today, according to two sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

We also learned that, in addition to the three holding groups mentioned in our post last week, a team from Publicis Groupe was invited to pitch for VW.

This news comes days before the start of the review’s final round, which takes place in the client’s home country of Germany this week.

Our sources claim that IPG was not the only holding group to get cut, but we’ve been unable to confirm the news regarding those parties. It’s also unclear whether these other networks were eliminated from the entire global review or only its North American portion.

Representatives for Deutsch, Publicis, Omnicom and WPP declined to comment. A VW U.S. representative referred our query to the company’s corporate comms team in Wolfsburg.

This is big news as it marks the end of a 9-year relationship between Deutsch and the carmaker, which sent its account to IPG in late 2009 (incumbent CP+B declined to pitch at the time).

That relationship weathered 4 CEOs, 6 CMOs and a global scandal over fraudulent emissions that led to charges against 6 different executives. VW’s North American sales reportedly increased by almost 100 percent during that time.

The partnership’s most notable product, of course, is “The Force,” which remains the most-watched Super Bowl ad. It launched a dozen careers (at least?) and changed the way brands roll out their Big Game campaigns.

[Pic via Getty Images]