Saatchi and CHI in pitch battle over Lexus brief

Lexus is understood to have kicked off an advertising pitch between incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota roster agency Clemmow Hornby Inge.

Lexus is understood to have kicked off an advertising pitch between incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi and Toyota roster agency Clemmow Hornby Inge.

It coincides with the departure of Lexus UK marketing chief Jan Kidacki, who is leaving the company after two years.

It is not clear whether the pitch is for the entire business or an individual model launch, but it follows a series of pitches by Lexus’s parent Toyota.

Saatchi and CHI are currently pitching for the &£60m pan-European launch of the latest Corolla model.

Earlier this year, CHI was handed Toyota’s UK tactical advertising business and last year it was appointed to handle the &£50m pan-European launch of the new Yaris.

Marketing communications manager for Lexus Europe, Belinda Paul, refuses to comment on the pitch but says the marque is still working with Saatchi & Saatchi. A spokeswoman for Lexus UK also refuses to comment on rumours of a review but adds that the marque “will continue to work with Saatchi & Saatchi”.

It is not clear whether Kidacki, who joined Lexus UK as general manager of marketing and strategy two years ago (MW March 11, 2004), has a job to go to. Lexus is expected to announce a replacement for Kidacki, who was the marque’s senior marketer and reported to director Steve Settle, in the next week.

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