Beleaguered British car manufacturer MG Rover has appointed St Luke’s to handle its &£21m advertising account as it looks to boost its brand profile in the light of dwindling sales figures.
St Luke’s pitched against Leagas Delaney, McCann Erickson and local agency Cogent for the business.
MG Rover, which denies a final decision has been made, terminated its relationship with M&C Saatchi in 2003 when it moved most of its advertising in house to cut costs. It has been working with Cogent, which created the advertising for the launch of the CityRover – its small car imported from Tata of India (MW November 13, 2003). It is understood Cogent will still handle some direct marketing activity for MG Rover.
MG Rover’s market share in the UK has slumped to just three per cent in recent months. In December, Robert Hazelwood was appointed managing director of UK sales and marketing following a reorganisation of the sales and marketing division.Former Kia marketing director Guy Jones recently joined MG Rover as its top marketer (MW September 9, 2004). Kevin Brown has since rejoined as corporate sales director and UK commercial director Paul Stroud has been promoted to European sales and marketing director.
MG Rover has been plagued by speculation about its future and the corporate conduct of the four Midlands businessmen who bought the company for &£10m from BMW in 2000. In August last year, sales for the Rover marque dipped by 37.3 per cent and by 35.7 per cent for MG compared with the same time last year.