DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Volkswagen of America today tapped Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles, as its new national and regional creative agency of record in a closely watched review, according to executives familiar with the matter.
Deutsch also gets digital, which is expected to be an increasingly crucial part of VW's marketing. The agency won out over finalist Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which presented a social-networking strategy for the brand. A big part of Deutsch's pitch was digital.
The win drives Deutsch back into the car business. The agency has been without an auto dance partner since summer, when General Motors terminated the contract on its Saturn brand, which the agency won in early 2007 from Goodby without a review. GM had tapped Deutsch for key corporate work, as well as Chevrolet motor sports and pro baseball, for a year. Deutsch had also held Mitsubishi's U.S. creative ad account.
It's also a nice morale boost for Deutsch at a crucial time. Last week, parent Interpublic Group of Cos. announced that Deutsch would absorb Lowe's New York office.
Deutsch had the upper hand against Goodby in terms of service to regional dealer ad associations, according to an auto-industry ad veteran.
VW cut its list of four finalists on Wednesday, eliminating Omnicom's DDB and independent Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., as first reported by Advertising Age.
VW spent $204 million in U.S. measured media last year, 19% higher than 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Spending is likely to increase as the carmaker aims to significantly boost U.S. vehicle sales and market share.
Contributing: Rupal Parekh