BMW TAPS WCRS FOR CAMPAIGN INCLUDING U.S. GERMAN AUTO MARKETER LIKES CREATIVE SHARING; FALLON WILL HAVE SOME INPUT

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BMW of North America's German parent has assigned one of its European agencies a global image campaign to break next year, including in the U.S.

The ads are being developed by WCRS, London, agency for BMW in the U.K.

BRAND IMAGE CAMPAIGN

"There is a brand image campaign that is print-based under development by our parent company and it will appear here in 1997," said Jack Pitney, director of corporate communications at BMW of North America.

INPUT FROM FALLON

He said U.S. agency Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, has "input into the overall tonality and creative direction" of the campaign, and that its U.S. appearance shouldn't be interpreted as a negative development for Fallon.

BMW uses about 15 agencies in Europe, said Rich Brooks, corporate communications manager for the auto marketer.

About three years ago, BMW in Germany created the "brand circle" to try to keep its European brand messages in sync with headquarters' view of the brand's core values, said a former U.S. BMW manager.

The company studied ways for its European shops to work with its home office for a unified marketing direction, with plans to pool creative from the various shops for use anywhere on the continent.

The brand-circle concept apparently has crossed the Atlantic; BMW plans to trim its list of U.S. dealer group agencies from 14 to four by year's end (AA, Oct. 7).

Creative from the four shops will be pooled and any dealer group can use it for their market, said Thomas McGurn, general manager of corporate relations.

`MORE TARGETED, FOCUSED'

"We had a system where we had a lot of agencies interpreting the BMW brand in a lot of different ways," he said. "This is to be more targeted and more focused."

Fallon will still handle the BMW brand; the dealer group shops will do more tactical ads, such as regional model rollouts and lease rate programs, Mr. McGurn said.

Contributing: Dagmar Mussey, Pat Sloan and Mark Gleason.

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