Volvo Names Arnold Global Creative Agency

Havas Agency, Teamed With London's Nitro, Beats Fallon to End Five-Month Review

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Sweden's Volvo Cars today said it has named Arnold Worldwide, Boston as its new global creative agency of record after a five-month review. The Havas agency teamed with independent Nitro, London, in the pitch.
Volvo

The main mission of Volvo's new agency will be to fashion a branding strategy for the Ford Motor Co.-owned unit that builds on its rock-solid safety positioning.

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The agency, which bested Publicis Groupe's Fallon, Minneapolis, after a second presentation last week, will take the lead developing strategy and creative in two key regions: the U.S. and Europe (sans Scandinavia), and other regions can adjust the creative for their markets.

Incumbent Euro RSCG, which was eliminated from the pitch last month when the list was cut to two, retains the creative account for Asia/Pacific region. But Tim Ellis, global advertising manager for Volvo in Sweden, told Advertising Age the automaker expects to put that business up for review next year.

Auto credentials
Both finalists had rock-solid auto credentials and each eager to get back into the category.

Mr. Ellis said Arnold had informed Volvo in writing that it was also pitching Hyundai Motor America's national creative account. But the Havas agency learned April 17 it lost its bid for Hyundai Motor America's national creative account to Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco.

Arnold has been without a car account since 2005, when Volkswagen of America's new marketing chief replaced the agency without a review and hired Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Miami. Arnold had held the VW account for a decade.

Fallon resigned its BMW of North America's business, which it had for a decade, in summer 2005 after a new VP-marketing called a review.

Branding strategy
The main mission of Volvo's new agency will be to fashion a branding strategy for the Ford Motor Co.-owned unit that builds on its rock-solid safety positioning. Mr. Ellis said the review brief asked contenders how to create a more emotional association with the brand that allows the products to become more desirable as premium.

The agency's proposed big idea will go into production quickly and is due in early fall, Mr. Ellis said.

Roth Associates, New York, handled the review for Volvo.
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