Hyundai Makes Move in Europe

LOS ANGELES Hyundai has parted with London independent VCCP, and the automaker is consolidating its European assignment with its Kia- and Hyundai-funded agency Innocean as well as independent M&C Saatchi, according to sources.

Sources said the account in Europe is worth about $20 million annually in measured media spending. According to sources, M&C Saatchi will handle the advertising in the United Kingdom and work with Innocean throughout the rest of Europe. Hyundai Motor America, as well as M&C Saatchi’s U.K. office, declined comment on the moves abroad.

The transition to Innocean follows a similar move last month in which Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco parted ways with HMA, though the shop has agreed to continue working for the automaker for some part of 2009 and may keep the digital part of the business in perpetuity.

HMA said last month that it would be transitioning from Goodby to World Marketing Group, Irvine, Calif., its U.S. version of Innocean. Even while adding Jim Sanfilippo as evp and COO in May, WMG is not known as a creative shop, and sources speculated that HMA might be lining up creative to work alongside WMG in the U.S.

Through September, the worst month for automotive sales since 1993, HMA was down 6 percent to 338,000 units, per Car Concepts.