VW Evaluates $1.4 Bil. Global Media Business

BOSTON Volkswagen is evaluating its global media business, the client has confirmed. The process could result in the consolidation of the estimated $1.4 billion business at a single network.

Havas’ Media Planning Group in New York (which handles the business in North America) and Grey Global Group’s MediaCom (which handles VW media chores in key European and Asia-Pacific markets) are participating, and conversations with the shops are ongoing, said Karen Marderosian, director of marketing for VW’s North American operations. No other shops are involved.

The process includes VW’s Audi brand; no timeline has been set for completing the evaluation, Marderosian said.

Agency officials either could not be reached or declined comment.

With sales sagging, most notably the U.S. and Canada, the German automaker is seeking ways to “buy [media] smarter and cheaper,” with the emphasis on streamlining the media buying process and achieving cost savings, one source said.

The client spends about $1.4 billion annually on worldwide advertising, and about $340 million in the U.S., per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

This story updates an item posted on Sept. 29 with additional information provided by the client.