Euro RSCG, Fuel to Pitch for Volvo's Global Account

But Havas Agency Network Has Conflict in Europe With Peugeot

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Sweden's Volvo Car Corp. broke its silence today, confirming it is putting its global advertising account up for review, inviting its main ad agency, Havas' Euro RSCG Worldwide, New York, its sibling Fuel, London, and "other qualified agencies" to pitch for the business.
Other than London, Volvo doesn't work with any Euro RSCG offices in Europe because of a conflict with French automaker Peugeot.
Other than London, Volvo doesn't work with any Euro RSCG offices in Europe because of a conflict with French automaker Peugeot.

Global markets
"We are looking for a strong international creative partner, able to offer solid creative solutions in both the U.S. and Europe, as well as other key markets in Asia and throughout the world," Tim Ellis, global advertising director, wrote in an e-mail from Volvo's headquarters in Gothenburg.

Other than London, Volvo doesn't work with any Euro RSCG offices in Europe because of a conflict with French automaker Peugeot, Mr. Ellis said. The global review excludes Scandinavia.

Euro RSCG handles Peugeot in more than 24 countries.

Local creative shops
In Europe, Volvo also has other shops developing creative for local markets, including AMV BBDO in the U.K.; Gramm in Germany; and Forsman & Bodenfors, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The automaker wants to be sure it "retains the best possible talent worldwide in order to continue the positive momentum of the Volvo brand," Mr. Ellis said.

Volvo, part of Ford Motor Co.'s European Premier Automotive Group, is open to various agency structures, but "the agency must be able to provide world-class, relevant advertising with a sound distribution model," Mr. Ellis said. "Ultimately we want to secure a strong, long-lasting agency relationship that will support our overall business objectives."

He declined to confirm that search consultant Roth Associates, New York, is handling the review.

$65 milllion on measured media
The automaker spent $65 million on measured media in North America for the first nine months of 2006 and $71 million in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Euro RSCG Worldwide has had Volvo's creative U.S. account since 1991. The agency has a small office in Irvine, Calif., near Volvo's U.S. headquarters, but the bulk of the account is handled out of New York. The agency formed Fuel North America after its fall 1998 win of Volvo's lucrative U.S. regional dealer account, and landed portions of Volvo Car Corp.'s estimated $150 million global account in 2000.
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