Grey Picks Up BMW Regional Biz

NEW YORK BMW of North America has consolidated creative duties on its regional dealer advertising at Grey West in San Francisco after a review, the client confirmed today. Major media spending is estimated at $80 million.

In addition, Grey West will now handle create ads for BMW’s national certified pre-owned business. The assignment includes traditional advertising, interactive ads, direct marketing and promotional efforts, according to a Grey representative.

Previously, creative duties on BMW’s four regions were split among four shops: WPP Group’s Grey West (Western), Omnicom Group’s GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas (Central) and Publicis Groupe units Publicis in New York (Eastern) and Publicis Mid-America in Dallas (Southern).

The regional contest came down to Grey West (which pitched with help from its New York office) and Publicis in New York and Dallas, said sources.

GSD&M, BMW’s lead creative agency for national duties, did not compete for the business.

“We are very proud of our partnership with BMW and excited by their vote of confidence,” said Jim Heekin, worldwide CEO of Grey Group. “We look forward to leveraging the growth of this iconic brand in the years ahead.”

The decision comes as BMW considers five finalists for its estimated $200 million media account, now at GSD&M. In that review, the incumbent is defending against Aegis Group’s Carat, Interpublic Group’s Universal McCann and independent shops Horizon Media and Targetcast:TCM. A selection is expected in January.