R/GA Wins Digital and Social Media Work for Mercedes-Benz

By Patrick Coffee 

R/GA won the U.S.-based digital creative and social media business of luxury carmaker Mercedes-Benz in an unannounced review.

Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish has worked on the account since 2009, when Mercedes moved away from former digital AOR Critical Mass after “a quiet review” that also included iCrossing, RAPP and SapientNitro.

This change flew under the radar as well, but a Mercedes-Benz spokesperson confirmed the news after R/GA emerged as the winner of a pitch involving several other unnamed agencies.

“We are adding R/GA to our agency roster as we continue to evolve our marketing in support of the largest product offensive we’ve ever had in this country,” the representative wrote. “R/GA will handle our social platforms and our digital campaigns alongside Razorfish who will continue to handle our digital platforms and Merkley + Partners our lead marketing agency.”

Razorfish has created a wide range of work for the client since scoring the account seven years ago: The agency was also behind 2011’s Twitter-fueled “race” to the Super Bowl, and an extended April campaign starred a parkour athlete and an obstacle course.

Representatives for R/GA have not responded to our queries regarding the win today. It is unclear exactly which portion of the work previously with Razorfish has gone to R/GA, but in the past the client did not have a separate agency to work on digital creative and social media as the Publicis shop handled all of these elements of the business.

In past press responses, Mercedes spokespeople have hesitated to elaborate on their future advertising plans. For the 2009 AdAge story, the company’s VP of marketing Steve Cannon—who has since been promoted to president and CEO of its U.S. operations—would only say that its digital account was worth “millions and millions of dollars.”

As noted in the client’s statement, Merkley + Partners remains Mercedes-Benz’s U.S. creative AOR, with PHD retaining the media side of the business in a 2014 review.