Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, which won the carmaker's creative account in early 1999 after a review, has been invited to defend, said Mr. Pryor, who was promoted to his current post last December. He declined comment on whether media incumbent Kastner & Partners, Los Angeles, was invited. "We will discuss the inclusion of our other partners with our consultant."
He said Porsche is "very happy" with Carmichael Lynch's work and the upcoming review doesn't represent any dissatisfaction with the agency. "However, we feel that in the spirit of continuous improvement that is part of everything we do here at Porsche, we had the responsibility to see how the market has changed since our last review cycle."
The advertiser is preparing for the launch of Porsche's first sedan, the Panamera, in 2009, he said.
Bundling media and creative
When asked about bundling media and creative, he said Porsche is looking for looking for a partner to "serve in a lead agency role that improves the synergy between the media and creative elements." The winner could be all within one agency or a lead agency with partners. He said the consultant will help determine how many agencies would be invited to pitch the business.
Porsche spent $33 million in measured media last year vs. $21 million in 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
From 2004-2006, the niche marque reported setting new annual sales' records in the U.S. and Canada, reaching 36,095 units last year, or 7% more than 2005. But last week, Porsche said its Cayenne SUV sales in the two countries skidded by 27% to 1,967 units in February compared to the same month in 2006.
Porsche, criticized by brand purists for entering the SUV segment, launched the 2008-model Cayenne last week. The SUV ranges in price from $43,400 to $93,700.
Other car reviews
Porsche's move marks the third automaker in review. Hyundai Motor America's Joel Ewanick, VP-marketing, told Advertising Age today that five unnamed agencies have been incited to pitch for its national U.S. creative account. Sweden's Volvo Cars is in the midst of a search for a global creative agency, with presentations coming later this month for that $150 million account.
And a Chrysler Group spokesman told Ad Age this week the automaker is still conducting a pitch with a "limited number" of Omnicom Group agencies to pitch for a Jeep brand assignment.