Co-Chairman Rich Silverstein called the decision a "perfect storm" that came together quickly after the agency was dropped from the roster of the General Motors Corp. brand. He called the chance to pitch with 180 an "exciting opportunity" and said Goodby has never before pitched business with an Omnicom sibling.
Goodby has tapped Steve Simpson, the partner who works closely with Mr. Silverstein on the Hewlett-Packard business, to go to Sweden to participate in the Volvo pitch.
While Goodby is strong in the U.S., 180 is strong in Europe, Mr. Silverstein said. 180 is also in the process of opening a Los Angeles office from where it will handle its portion of Adidas' account in conjunction with Omnicom's TBWA/Chiat/Day.
Though it will be Goodby's first chance at teaming on a pitch with a corporate sibling, the shop as worked with other holding companies. At the behest of the HP, Goodby has worked with Publicis Groupe shops to handle the business globally. Goodby also partnered with Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson on the account.
Review narrowed last month
Late last month, Volvo narrowed the review to 180; Euro RSCG, which is part of Havas; a second Havas entry, Arnold Worldwide, Boston, with independent Nitro, London; and Publicis' Fallon Worldwide, Minneapolis and London.
WPP Group, which handles much of the advertising for Volvo parent Ford Motor Co., was not included in the list. Volvo is said to be very interested in a quick build for its business in China.
Roth Associates is handling the search. Volvo spent $65 million in measured media for the first nine months of 2006 and $71 million in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.