VW Taps Bentley Exec as EVP

BOSTON Volkswagen on Friday said it has named Adrian Hallmark executive vice president of its North American operations, where he will lead marketing and sales efforts for the brand.

Hallmark had been sales director at VW-owned Bentley, and he now swaps jobs with Len Hunt, who just three days ago signed off on VW’s $400 million account switch to Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami from Arnold in Boston without a review [Adweek Online, Sept. 6].

VW officials and agency executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Lagging U.S. sales (down 15 percent in 2004 compared to the previous year and off 20 percent during the first five months of 2005), as well as the belief among some client executives that the quality of creative had fallen, were strong motivations for moving the ad account, according to sources.

The arrival in March of former BMW Mini Cooper marketing communications manager Kerri Martin at VW as director of brand innovation sealed the move to MDC Partners’ CP+B, sources said.

CP+B resigned the $25 million Mini Cooper business to take on VW. It is unclear if Mini Cooper will hold a review or reassign the work to another agency, and the client has not returned calls.

Arnold, a unit of Havas, has handled VW for 10 years, fashioning the brand’s iconic “Drivers wanted” positioning line.

The switch to CP+B becomes effective Dec. 5.

—Adweek staff report