DaimlerChrysler-owned Smart car has awarded its &£2.3m advertising account to Farm, after a four-way pitch.
The decision will be a surprise to the industry, which had tipped Boymeetsgirl – the agency set up by Springer & Jacoby and St Lukes founder Andy Law – to win the hotly contested battle.
Springer & Jacoby holds the account for Europe, as well as handling the business for parent company Mercedes in most of Europe.
Campbell Doyle Dye, which has the Mercedes account for the UK, and Clemmow Hornby Inge also pitched for the account. The incumbent Maher Bird Associates was also on the shortlist.
Smart head of marketing Sam Bridger, who joined from Orange last year, oversaw the review. Media buying is unaffected and is handled by BJK&E Media in accordance with DaimlerChrysler policy. However, communications planning company Monkey, which is part of the Farm group, will work with BJK&E on strategic communication planning.
Smart is launching its Roadster and Roadster-coupé sports cars in the UK in September. Early next year, the marque will launch its first four-door car, the Smart ForFour in mainland Europe with a UK launch planned for the autumn. It has sponsored Robbie William’s European tour this year as part of the pre-launch promotional activity. So far Smart’s only model has been its tiny City-Coupé, which has been on sale since 1998 when DaimlerChrysler bought out its joint venture partner Swatch.
As well as four dedicated outlets, Smart is sold in the UK at some Mercedes dealerships.