DaimlerChrysler is expected to retain its existing media arrangements virtually intact after the review of its 1bn media account, according to sources close to the business.
CIA Medianetwork and Bozell Worldwide appear to be in line to land an additional slice of business, but the expected consolidation of the media for the Mercedes and Chrysler brands seems unlikely.
Although DaimlerChrysler spokespeople insist no decision has been made in the media review, which began after the merger of Daimler-Benz and Chrysler last November, it is understood a new compromise has been proposed.
Sources now say DaimlerChrysler is considering retaining its existing media planning and buying arrangements for all brands in all markets, with one significant change. In each market, the brands are to be combined under one lead agency whenever negotiations with media companies are undertaken.
The CIA/Bozell alliance is thought to have won this lead status in all markets outside the US and Germany. Omnicom-owned Pentacom is said to have retained its status in the US and GMFO has retained it in Germany.
CIA and Bozell already handle the Chrysler brand in the UK through BJK&E, and Bozell handles it in Europe and other fringe markets. On this basis, they will win additional fees for their new negotiation role and are effectively in pole-position, should the media be consolidated in Europe at a later date.
Omnicom will retain the bulk of the business because Chrysler spends almost two-thirds of the combined media budget in the US alone.
Media Analysis, page 12