Rover is understood to have appoin-ted Craik Jones Watson Mitchell Voelkel to its 5m UK direct marketing account following a five-way pitch.
The pitch marks a new departure for the BMW-owned car group which has used Ammirati Puris Lintas for above- and below-the-line work worldwide since 1995.
The decision to appoint Craik Jones will be a blow to APL, which only last month poached J Walter Thompson director-in-charge Mark Cadman to be Rover board account director. He joins next month.
Craik Jones was favourite to win the business as it already handles Land Rover below the line and in October was appointed to Rover’s international business, working on direct marketing strategy. The account comprises the Rover, Mini and MG brands.
It is understood that Evans Hunt Scott, JDA, Brann-owned SJA Direct and APL – in conjunction with LVB Draft Worldwide – also pitched for the business.
Craik Jones, which was bought by the Abbott Mead Vickers group in October for 2.44m, refuses to comment on the appointment.