Britain’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty has steered its way into the $30- million Audi of America review by virtue of a “hands a" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Hands across the water: Brits, Yanks are allies in Audi review By David Kiley and Alison Fahe

Britain’s Bartle Bogle Hegarty has steered its way into the $30- million Audi of America review by virtue of a “hands a

“We are going to tap their brain power” said McKinney president, chief executive officer Robert Doherty. “But this is this agency’s pitch to win or lose, and we certainly think we can win.”
BBH, a one-office agency located in London’s Soho, does what is widely viewed as the best of Audi’s advertising worldwide. The agency, which has had the business for about 11 years in the U.K., was among the shops to talk with Audi consultant Jones-Lundin when the U.S. review started in March. But without a U.S. office, the agency was not going to be a factor.
Nigel Bogle, joint chief executive at BBH, characterizes the role of the British agency as “consultants and advisors” to McKinney on the Audi pitch. “We’re working with them on their submission. We will offer advice and input,” he said.
Doherty said he feels the two shops are similar in the talent they show clients. “BBH is brilliant when it comes to formulating a strategy, and then translating it into top of the line creative, and I like to think that’s what we do, too.” Added Doherty, “The U.S. and U.K. markets are very different in terms of marketing cars, but I feel we can help one another.” Should McKinney win the business, the relationship would continue, Doherty said.
The collaboration between BBH and McKinney began in the 1980s when M&S executives sought out a London shop on behalf of Piedmont Airlines, which was about to get clearance to service London. BBH subsequently won that business. McKinney also introduced BBH to the Bahamas tourism account, which M&S recently lost, but which BBH still handles in Europe.
For BBH, the Audi pitch is a chance not only to expand its influence with the client, but return favors to McKinney. “We have worked with McKinney on two or three clients but so far the traffic has gone one way,” said Bogle.
Ammirati’s departure from the review had been rumored around New York for a week. While agency chief executive Martin Puris chalked his pulling out to devoting time to current clients, sources said that A&P might be banking on another larger account coming its way.
Reports, though speculative, have linked Ammirati to General Motors’ Cadillac account since the agency pitched Oldsmobile last fall. Cadillac, which along with Pontiac is handled by D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/Bloomfield Hills, is due, said GM sources, for a management change in the next 12 months as current general manager John Grettenberger is expected to retire. When that happens, said one high-ranking GM executive, “I wouldn’t bet against it going into review, but it would depend on who the new gm is . . . some candidates would do it right away, and others wouldn’t want to rock the boat.”
Ammirati’s long association with BMW until the automaker called a review last fall, gives it the credentials to handle Cadillac. GM’s general manager of advertising/marketing Phil Guarascio, who advised Olds on its review and would be expected to do the same for any GM division in review, is known to be a big fan of the agency.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)