BMW Launches Comprehensive Review for U.S. Business

Kirshenbaum, Other Project Players Invited to Pitch

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BMW of North America is launching a comprehensive review for U.S. creative work, the car maker said today, five months after parting ways with Omnicom Group's GSD&M.

The search process, which will be managed by Dick Roth of Roth Observatory International, will focus on agency support for three key areas: national brand creative, regional and dealer creative work, and multicultural marketing. BMW spent nearly $140 million on U.S. measured media in 2009, according to Kantar, and increased that outlay in 2010 to nearly $160 million. That number will likely climb higher in 2011. The review will be completed sometime this fall, BMW said.

The lift in marketing spending comes as the car maker has been saying that it's now on the offensive with its marketing strategy. That was underscored by BMW's return to the Super Bowl this year after a decade-long hiatus.

The shops that have been working with BMW will be invited to defend in the pitch. "This review is part of the standard long-term strategic planning of our brand," Dan Creed, VP-marketing at BMW of North America, said in a statement. "All of our agencies have made valuable contributions to BMW and we hope that they will participate in this review."

National creative has been handled by MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners on a project basis since October, when GSD&M initiated the split with BMW. WPP's Grey West has been the incumbent for regional dealer advertising since 2008, while BMW's multicultural business has been split between Matlock Advertising and Public Relations and Bromley Communications.

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