Toyota Europe starts agency hunt

Toyota Motor Europe is looking for a new agency to handle pan-European tasks. The move has created an opportunity to squeeze onto the car maker’s lucrative advertising roster.

The Brussels-based Toyota office has been talking to agencies about a place on the roster that is initially likely to carry a retainer. Whether it will also carry a sizeable fixed budget is unclear.

Toyota GB marketing director Mike Moran says: “Toyota Motor Europe is keen to have its own ad agency. It has been going through a process to find that agency.”

The new agency will report to and service Toyota Motor Europe, a task that until now has been handled on an informal basis by Saatchi & Saatchi. It will work alongside agencies in Toyota’s key markets and participate in the Toyota Advertising Network, which offers roster agencies the chance to pitch for each pan-European launch of a new model.

Under the existing regime, agencies from key markets must present ideas to each other before selecting the best four and taking them to Toyota’s marketing board.

Last year, this resulted in Saatchi, Toyota GB’s agency, landing the estimated £70m pan-European launch of the Yaris.

The Brussels office of Toyota’s luxury car marque Lexus was also toying with appointing its own agencies last year. It went as far as employing a consultant to investigate putting together a pitch list. So far, nothing has come of the plans.

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