Volvo global creative review
TORSLAND, Sweden & ROCKLEIGH, NJ: Agencies looking for a car account should start their engines: Volvo Cars has thrown its global creative account into review.
The car-maker — which has a Swedish heritage but is now owned by Chinese group Geely — said its seeking a global agency “focus and strengthen the brand communication worldwide.” Incumbent creative shop, Havas-owned Arnold Worldwide, has been invited to defend the business.
A winner will be selected by this fall. Other shops, such as PR agencyHaberman, in Minneapolis, are not impacted by the pitch.
“We are in a time of transformation and we have a very interesting journey ahead of us, further enhancing brand perception through innovation, a new model programme and an improved customer interaction,” said Alain Visser, SVP-sales and customer service, in a statement. “It is therefore a good time to review our future needs in order to sharpen Volvo Cars’ brand communication moving forward.”
Volvo last restructured its agency relationships in December 2011, when it bucked the auto industry trend of using a “team” agency approach. The automaker dismantled its “Team Volvo” structure that was an alliance between three agencies: Arnold Worldwide, SapientNitro and what was then called EuroRSCG 4D.
Its budget is small compared to the big automakers like Ford and General Motors. Volvo spent about $80 million on U.S. advertising in 2012, according to Kantar Media. The car company, which changed hands from Ford to Chinese group Geely in August 2010, has been experiencing a sales slide. It suffered a 6% global sales drop in 2012, though it posted a small increase last year domestically.
After posting a 1% increase in 68,117 vehicles sold in 2012, Volvo’s year-to-date U.S. sales were down 6% to 25,900 through May, 2013, according to the Automotive News Data Center. The Swedish car maker posted a U.S. high of 139,000 vehicles in 2004.
With the global auto market finally rebounding from the economic recession, several carmakers are searching for new creative shops. General Motors’ Cadillac is expected to pick a winner this month to handle its $250 million creative account.
Porsche recently decided to stay with incumbent Carmichael-Lynch after a review for its $20 million business.
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