KBS Is Not Participating In BMW’s Creative Review

By Erik Oster 

KBS is not participating in BMW’s U.S. creative review, Adweek reported yesterday.

BMW announced the procurement-driven review, which coincides with the end of the brand’s contract with KBS, in October. The review process is being handled by search consultancy Roth Ryan Hayes. Sources told Adweek at the time of the review’s launch that BMW was seeking a two-agency partnership, similar to the strategy it employed by concluding the review of its Mini brand by selecting Pereira & O’Dell and 360i as its agency partners. The review is expected to conclude in February or March.

KBS has handled BMW’s creative in the U.S. for over ten years and retained the account following a 2011 review which included Grey and The Martin Agency. Last year, BMW sent web design responsibilities to Critical Mass but retained KBS as its lead agency.


KBS CEO Guy Hayward told staff that KBS would not be participating in the review in an email yesterday. Here it is in full:

Dear Everyone,

As I shared at a recent “Bluechairs” meeting, the BMW pitch has kicked off. Today, after much discussion, I’m writing to share with you that we have decided to not take part in the review.

We’re extremely proud of the work that we’ve done with BMW during our 12-year relationship. On our watch, BMW was the bestselling luxury automotive brand for three years in a row on half the spend of the competitors, our Super Bowl spot in 2015 was one of the most popular of all time, we have also pioneered the first global car launch predominantly on mobile. Time and again our work on the website or in communications has been acknowledged by the Effies, the automotive industry, JD Power and the Cannes Lions. We have a great story to tell of our modernizing impact on this brand. Thank you to everybody who has worked on and will continue to work on this great brand.

We are engaged with BMW until the end of June 2018 and will continue to do our best for BMW. We are also committed to assisting BMW with the transition of the business to the new agency to be announced.

We all know this news brings change. It will also bring opportunity. Given that we have won two significant pieces of new business over the last six weeks, we are in a very strong position moving forward.

I understand you may have questions. We will schedule one-on-one conversations with everybody currently working on BMW so that we can discuss what it means for each person on the account. If you are not on BMW, but would like to discuss what this means for you, please reach out to your Department Head.

Thank you.