KBS&P Named BMW Lead Creative Agency

Automaker Taps Shop for $160 Million North America Account

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Dan Creed
Dan Creed

New York-based shop Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners has nabbed lead creative duties for BMW of North America after a review. The shop succeeds Omnicom Group's GSD&M in Austin, which handled the account until late last year.

The MDC Partners-owned shop beat out four contenders in the final leg of the pitch: Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency and Gotham , Toronto-based Cundari, and WPP's Grey . The latter pitched only the dealer portion of the business due to WPP's exclusive agreement with automaker Ford.

Per the contract terms, KBS&P will hang on to the account -- which according to Kantar is worth an estimated $160 million -- for a minimum of three years. The pitch didn't affect BMW's media agency of record, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann.

Dan Creed, VP-marketing for the carmaker, said in a statement that KBS&P was the clear winner, after a process that began in March and ended this week with pitches at the company's offices in New Jersey. "Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners hit a home run and left no doubt in our minds that they are the clear choice for the lead creative agency selection," said Mr. Creed. "KBS&P's successful pitch energized our team, demonstrating a strong platform of impressive brand insight, and memorable creative execution."

"Throughout this process, KBS&P proved they not only understood the BMW brand, but the retail business as well," added Donna Gebers, BMW dealer-marketing forum chairperson. "The dealer body was happy to be a part of the selection process and is very much looking forward to working with KBS&P."

It helps that the dealers have had some time to get to know KBS&P, since it was already handling customer-relationship marketing and digital marketing for BMW through its Dotglu arm.

For KBS&P, winning full-scale creative duties for BMW's stateside operations marks the biggest account the shop has netted since Lori Senecal took over as president CEO in 2009.

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