BMW North America Puts Media Account in Review

Corporate Parent Orders All Regions to Consider New Agencies

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DETROIT ( -- BMW of North America is putting its national media planning and buying into review, after a missive it received within the past 48 hours from its Munich-based parent, a spokesman at the carmaker's U.S. headquarters said.

All BMW's regions around the world are being directed to review media buying and planning, the spokesman said. The automaker will pick a consultant for the pitch, to take place in the fourth quarter, he said.

Incumbent set to defend
Incumbent GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, will defend the account, the spokesman said. BMW has already presented GSD&M with a package of questions about future planning and efficiencies, an executive close to the agency said.

The Omnicom Group agency also handles BMW's national creative account, which is not in review; the shop did not return calls by press time.

BMW is already conducting a review to consolidate its regional dealer accounts to create national broadcast spots and print ads. That pitch is now between the incumbents, Publicis Groupe's Publicis, New York and Dallas, and WPP Group's Grey Group.

Outspent by dealers
BMW spent $118 million in U.S. measured media last year, while its dealer groups spent $195 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

GSD&M won BMW's national creative business three years ago after a review handled by Select Resources International, which has worked with BMW on and off since 1998. A few months after winning the creative account, BMW moved its media account to the agency without a review from Publicis' Optimedia, New York.

BMW's Australian arm has already gone through its media review and kept its incumbent, Badger, Melbourne.
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