VW's Lamborghini Issues RFP for PR Support

Luxe Car Brand Has Invited Incumbent Centigrade to Pitch, Says Review Is Standard

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Volkswagen 's Automobili Lamborghini America brand is on the hunt for a PR agency, Ad Age has learned.

Raffaello Porro, director of communications and external relations at Lamborghini, said: "The RFP which was sent out is a periodical review, according to a standard company policy. This RFP was sent to the incumbent agency, too. There's nothing more to say at this point."

It's understood that the luxury auto brand works with PR shop Centigrade. The agency, known for its experience in the automotive category, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Though the review is procurement-driven, the automaker is sure to look closely at its PR plan as its 50th anniversary approaches in 2013.

The review comes on the heels of the appointment of Michael Lock, who, in his role as chief operating officer, oversees all facets of the Lamborghini brand in the U.S.

It's understood that the brand sent the RFP to under 10 firms. It states that the brand plummeted in market share performance between 2007 and 2010 "to just below 290 cars and about 4% market share in 2010."

It also noted: "Central to the achievement of ALA's 2016 business objectives is the regained strength of the Lamborghini brand in the U.S., which goes along with a shift in brand perceptions in order to (1) engage with a new set of customers which have in the past not considered Lamborghini, and (2) reignite the advocacy of current owners."

The agency selected will be tasked with looking at partnerships with luxury consumer brands, specific product coverage and brand messaging. Regarding the pitch plan, the RFP stated: "Given the luxury nature of our products and brand, the focus of this plan must include automotive media, lifestyle media, and influencer and celebrity components. From traditional media relations and events to red-carpet events and sponsorships -- this needs to be a comprehensive plan that will reach media and influencers across the U.S. market. Social/digital media and outreach should be included in this plan."

Volkswagen has held a series of agency reviews for its brands during the past couple of years. Late last year, Interpublic Group of Cos.' PMK-BNC retained its Audi account following a review. And in 2011, Edelman won the Volkswagen brand's PR and social-media accounts.

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