BMW names taxi to Mini brand in Canada

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TORONTO -- BMW Canada, based in Whitby, Ontario, has selected Taxi Advertising of Toronto to promote the re-introduction of the British Mini Cooper small car brand the into Canada. Taxi won the business over several other Toronto agencies, including Grey Canada, agencythreepointzero and BMW Canada's agency of record, Cundari Integrated Advertising. While Cundari did not win this new piece of business, it will remain agency of record for BMW Canada. The Mini brand has not been sold in Canada for at least 20 years, giving Taxi and BMW the challenge of rebuilding the brand's profile. Taxi will help BMW launch the Mini Cooper and Cooper S, the first all-new products under the Mini brand since its inception in 1959. The Mini will be manufactured at BMW Group's Oxford plant in the U.K. and will go on sale in Canada in 2002.

"The Mini is not as well known here as it is in Europe," says Manfred Braunl, marketing manager for the BMW and Mini brands in Canada.

Paul Lavoie, president and creative director at Taxi, says he's not worried about the Mini's low profile status. "I think it's a killer fit and we're going to kick butt with this car," he says.

Miami-based Crispin Porter & Bogusky is handling the relaunch of the Mini in the U.S. market, while Hamburg-based Jung von Matt was named the lead global agency on the Mini in September.

Copyright February 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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