The move is a major blow to FCA!BMZ, Duesseldorf, which has handled the account for the past 13 years.
There was no presentation, but Toyota talked to various agencies before making its decision. However, FCA!BMZ is still responsible for the TV campaign for the launch of the Yaris, which will be rolled out next spring. The Yaris is a small car to rival Volkswagen's Lupo, Ford's Ka and other mini vehicles. FCA!BMZ also keeps the literature account.
In addition, FCA!BMZ subsidiary More Media will continue to handle media planning and buy- ing for Toyota and More Interactive will handle all interactive campaigns.
This is a substantial win for Change Communica- tions, particularly since the agency lost the much smaller German Rover account last summer, when it moved to Gramm. Auto industry sources say Toyota's move was initiated by its new General Manager Hans Halbach, who joined last August.
Copyright November 1998, Crain Communications Inc.