VW AGENCIES AWAIT FALLOUT OF NORTH AMERICAN REVAMP

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TORONTO-Volkswagen's consolidation of U.S. and Canadian operations may also bring a change in its agency lineup.

"A decision is to be made on or after the 16th of September" about how to handle North American advertising, estimated at $80 million, said a VW spokeswoman here. That's also when the company will announce its structural changes.

VW will slash 43% of its white-collar work force in the U.S. and Canada by Dec. 31 (AA, Aug. 8).

Options for VW include: staying with its current agency roster, consolidating the accounts, or centralizing the business at one agency with satellite offices or agencies creating advertising for specific markets.

In the U.S., Berlin Wright Cameron, New York, a spin-off from longtime VW agency DDB Needham Worldwide, does advertising for the VW brand; McKinney & Silver, Raleigh, N.C., handles Audi.

In Canada, DDB Needham Worldwide has the VW, Audi and Porsche accounts. English creative is handled through contract by Bruce & Myers Creative Directions, Toronto; French creative is handled by Palm Publicite Marketing, Montreal, an affiliate of DDB Needham.

There's been some talk about VW moving Audi from McKinney to another U.S. agency, which would create advertising for the U.S. and Canada. However, McKinney, hired in August 1993, has hopes it will handle the Audi North American business.

Antony Denham, manager of marketing and communications for VW in Canada and the U.S., said assignments may stay exactly the same. However, "we just have to look at it in the context of the new organization," he said.

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