BMW's Mini has retained Butler Shine Stern & Partners as its U.S. agency of record after a review, the automaker has announced. The Sausilito, Calif.-based independent was up against Via, BBH and Fitzgerald in the pitch, Ad Age has learned.
BSSP also has picked up global agency duties for the brand, according to one executive familiar with the matter. Amsterdam-based agency BSUR had previously handled global advertising for Mini. The agency has handled Mini's U.S. advertising since 2005 and is signing a three-year contract to start in June.
"BSSP demonstrated that while their team was the incumbent, they are far from complacent," said Tom Salkowsky, manager, Mini USA marketing in a statement.
When BMW announced the review, it took the unusual step of allowing Mr. Salkowsky to publicly stress that this was a mandated review, and that the Mini brand was very happy with Butler Shine's services. The move made some in adland wonder then whether the procurement-driven process could be a waste of agencies' time. But it also took the step of hiring a consultant -- Hasan & Co. in Raleigh, N.C. -- to manage the pitch rather than conduct the process independently.
BSSP will handle Mini's national brand creative, regional and dealer creative and media planning and buying. Boston-based BEAM Interactive will manage digital and Austin-based Sanders Wingo will oversee multicultural marketing.