Audi Digital Account Up for Grabs

Agencies Eye Automaker Known for Willingness to Experiment

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NEW YORK ( -- The account for Audi of America, a marketer noted for its digital experimentation, is up for grabs and a number of agencies are circling the business.

Credit: Audi of America
Perhaps Audi's biggest play to date in the digital space was its saturation of the coverage of President Barack Obama's inauguration, reaching 50 million people with a news-hour takeover of major broadcast networks and websites streaming the event. That push was captained by Audi's agency of record, Venables Bell & Partners, which is unaffected by the review.

The automaker's digital account has been parked at interactive agency of record Factory Design, Denver, but that shop's three-year contract is up. The brand is reviewing digital shops to handle brand advertising, retail and collateral. Jeri Ward, Audi general manager of customer advocacy and launch strategy, said the incumbent is in the running.

Audi follows Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Mazda in its search for new agency partners. Most recently, under new leadership, Mitsubishi selected Omnicom Group's 180, Los Angeles, for creative work; WPP's Schematic for digital work; and Triaville Communications for public relations. Mazda is also said to be close to selecting a holding company agency team.

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