Mercedes-Benz Germany is talking to UK agencies about a below-the-line marketing push across Europe.
Mercedes in the UK has used DM since the early Nineties, using a 200,000-strong database and producing a customer magazine three times a year. The car company’s below-the-line spend in this country is about 3m a year.
But Oliver Johnson, UK general manager product marketing for cars, says: “In the UK and the US the idea of marketing to customers directly is very strong, but other countries in Europe have not developed the same capabilities.
“To us it is obvious but to an Austrian, for instance, it is not. The marketing department in Stuttgart is not big enough to talk to agencies about direct marketing without some help,” he says.
It is understood the car manu-facturer is talking to three agencies in the UK, including WWAV Scotland. WWAV works for Renault from its London office.
Johnson stresses the pitch will not jeopardise Mercedes’ re-lationship with its existing UK direct marketing agencies – Drayton Bird for creative work and the WWAV-owned computer division TCG for database management.
He says a shortlist for the 12m Mercedes media planning and buying business will be released next week.