Mercedes Car Group is set to consolidate its £100m pan-European advertising account into BBDO, ending months of speculation about its relationship with UK independent Shop.
Sources say the “anomaly has finally been ironed out” and that the German company will move the entire account into BBDO from the start of next year. BBDO won a pitch for the £25m global launch of the updated Mercedes C-Class last year, while Abbott Mead Vickers.BBDO was handed the £4m UK account for sister marque Smart in March. It was previously handled by Farm.
A combined team from CLM/BBDO Paris and AMV in London pitched against Shop (formerly Campbell Doyle Dye) and US agency Merkley & Partners to win the global C-Class business in June last year. The move marked a departure for Mercedes, which has previously relied on regional advertising campaigns.
Shop’s contract expires at the end of this year, and it is understood that the account will move into AMV in the UK from the start of next year. Shop managing director Casper Thykier denies a decision has been made on who will handle the account from next year, and says it is “business as usual” for the agency.
AMV previously handled Volvo in the UK, but the Swedish brand consolidated its global account into Arnold and UK independent Nitro earlier this year.
Zulu, which handles Mercedes-Benz’s direct marketing account, was awarded the DM business for Smart at the same time as the advertising was moved, as part of the integration of the marque into Mercedes Car Group.
Mercedes could not be reached for comment as Marketing Week went to press.