BMW Reviews West

7 Shops Vie for $14 Mil. Dealer Account

LOS ANGELES–BMW of North America has placed its estimated $14 million Western Region Dealer Association account into review, despite previous reports that ads for all four dealer regions would be consolidated at Publicis/ Bloom. Consultancy Select Resources International here has been tapped to conduct the review.
Incumbent Mendelsohn/Zien in Los Angeles will defend the western business against Publicis, New York, and five California agencies: Butler, Shine & Stern, Sausalito; dGWB, Irvine; Gardner, Geary, Coll & Young, San Francisco; Kovel Kresser & Partners, Santa Monica; and Seiniger Advertising, Beverly Hills. Publicis, which handles creative and media planning for BMW’s eastern and southern dealer accounts, recently won the central U.S. account from McConnaughy Stein Schmidt Brown in Chicago, giving the shop an estimated $32 million in dealer business.
“In order for Publicis to be considered, they will have to open a Los Angeles location,” said Fran O’Hagan, newly appointed sales and marketing manager for BMW’s western region.
It is yet to be determined if media buying, currently handled by DeWitt Media in New York, will also be included in the regional review, according to O’Hagan. DeWitt is the incumbent in the review for BMW of North America’s estimated $70 million media buying and planning account, competing against Publicis and BMW’s lead creative shop, Fallon McElligott in Minneapolis [Adweek, Nov. 24].
“BMW owners are a group of vigorous enthusiasts,” O’Hagan said. “We need an agency that can transfer that message.”
The Marina del Rey, Calif. client will hold chemistry checks with shops this week, according to SRI senior partner Catherine Bension.
–with Rob Lenihan and Scott Hume