CONFIRMED: Mercedes-Benz moves SA account from BBDO to Publicis
by Herman Manson (@marklives) Mercedes-Benz South Africa will be moving its account from Net#work BBDO to Publicis Groupe Africa. The local market is one of about 40 markets affected by a global decision following a one-year review and selection process.
“Alongside the local adaptation of the global and regional Mercedes-Benz campaigns in around 40 markets, the focus of the pitch was on increasing synergies for a more-consistent look worldwide for the Mercedes-Benz brand on the digital platforms, plus stronger dovetailing of central and local digital content,” Mercedes-Benz noted in a statement released in February 2018. The statement didn’t name the markets affected, only that the brand would continue working with Antoni in Germany, Merkley+Partners in the US and BBDO China in China.
New agency set up
Publicis has set up a new agency, named Publicis Emil and headquartered in Berlin, to work on the Mercedes-Benz brand.
“We picked up the local Mercedes-Benz business on the back of a global move and unfortunately lost it in a similar way,” notes Gau Narayanan, managing director at Net#work BBDO. “Locally, we have been very fortunate to develop a fantastic partnership with the Mercedes-Benz SA team. During our tenure, we have created some fantastic work, with the brand team winning over 20 awards including two Loerie Grands Prix, a D&AD pencil, a string of Golds at Loeries and Cannes. More importantly, we’ve created some fantastic work, that has driven fame for the brand.
“We’ve also been the lead agency partner in Mercedes-Benz SA’s digital transformation, so much so that the agency presented a Loeries Masterclass on this topic with Selvin Govender, the head of brand for Mercedes-Benz.”
Narayanan notes that Mercedes-Benz has been the no. 1- selling luxury car in South Africa. “Although we’re disappointed that the partnership is ending, we’ll be professional to the end in the transition and wish the Mercedes-Benz team and brand all the success.”
Declined to comment
BBDO Worldwide won the account in 2007 and the contract expires on 30 June 2018. Narayanan says no redundancies are planned at the agency as a result of the account loss. Publicis Groupe Africa declined to comment at this stage.
Herman Manson (@marklives) is the founder and editor of MarkLives.com.
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