The BMW creative account is officially up for grabs. The luxury auto brand has kicked off a U.S. agency review, a brand spokesman confirmed.
The incumbent is MDC Partners-owned KBS. The shop has steadily lost other pieces of the brand’s U.S. business in recent months. In December, BMW handed web development to Omnicom’s Critical Mass after a review. Last year KBS lost the social media work to Laundry Service and the CRM account to MDC’s Gale Partners.
It was widely expected that BMW would put the creative account into review in 2018, but the process is now underway. A BMW spokesman confirmed that KBS was invited to defend the account. KBS representatives declined to comment on the review.
The review follows a recent talent exodus at KBS, including the departures of Global Chief Strategy Officer Jonah Bloom and President Katie Klumper. Global Chief Technology Officer Matt Powell will leave his post at the end of the year. KBS also waved goodbye to longtime client Homegoods this summer.
BMW in July named Interpublic Group’s FCB agency of record in Canada, ending a 22-year relationship with Cundari.
The changes come as BMW looks to reclaim its sales mojo. The brand last year lost the global luxury sales crown to Mercedes-Benz, ending a more than decade-long run at the top. In the U.S. BMW brand sales fell 4.3 percent to 220,175 vehicles in the first nine months of the year, according to Automotive News.
BMW spent $350 million on U.S. advertising in 2016, according to the Ad Age Datacenter, up from $314.1 million in 2015.
In September, the BMW-owned Mini brand completed a lengthy agency review, bringing on Pereira & O’Dell for creative and 360i for digital, social media and customer relationship management, along with Merkle.
By E.J. Schultz and Lindsay Stein
(Courtesy www.adage.com – October 25, 2017)