MG Rover picks Cogent for city car launch

MG Rover has picked advertising agency Cogent to handle the launch of its crucial CityRover town car.

The move formally ends M&C Saatchi’s role as ad agency for the struggling car manufacturer. M&C Saatchi, which has worked with the car marque since 1999, is unwilling to comment on its relationship with MG Rover but is believed to be looking for another car client.

MG Rover is already stocking its dealerships with the new car ahead of a full retail launch at the end of the month. Low-level marketing will precede an above-the-line campaign after Christmas. However, there will be no television advertising for the budget car. It is not known how much the account is worth.

Cogent was previously a roster agency and produced brochures for MG Rover.

In June, long-serving MG Rover marketing director John Sanders resigned and John Edwards, one of the consortium that bought MG Rover from BMW for &£10, took over responsibility for marketing (MW June 26). Sanders’ resignation followed the company’s decision to cut back radically on marketing.

The CityRover is built in India in partnership with Tata Motors.

Its launch returns MG Rover to the city car segment after the Metro/Rover 100 ceased production in 1997. The new car will retail at between &£6,500 and &£9,000.

MG Rover has trimmed its losses to &£111m from &£200m last year, but attracted widespread criticism when it was revealed that senior directors, including Edwards, had put &£12.9m into a retirement trust.

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