Volkswagen (VW) has completed its long-running global media planning and buying review, appointing Omnicom Media Group’s PHD to handle the estimated $3bn account.
The appointment – believed to be the largest consolidated global win in history – follows an “intensive” pitch process which has lasted around a year.
The German carmaker called the review as part of last year’s ‘Mediapalooza’, only 12 months after an announcement that it had retained WPP’s MediaCom as its international agency of record for a three-year period.
It ends an 18-year relationship with MediaCom, which first started working on the VW business in Germany in 1998. It is understood that IPG Mediabrands also pitched for the business.
In a statement, VW said that the appointment, which comes into effect from 1 January 2017, will help the group to take advantage of the growing range of digital marketing opportunities.
“New digitalisation possibilities and new ways of targeting specific groups are to be put to much greater use in media planning,” said VW in a statement.
“The media holding of the Omnicom Group stood out against the competition and convinced all the Group brands involved by providing trends-setting impetus in media management and a broad-based, strategically sound service range.”
Omnicom insiders claim that the addition of VW globally – including its Audi, Skoda and Seat brands – will be “transformative” for PHD.
Speaking to M&M Global last month, PHD worldwide CEO Mike Cooper said the agency was thriving in part because of its ability to create a point of differentiation.
“I think the middle ground is a very dangerous place to be,” he said. “When we were first rolling out PHD as a network, we looked at the competition and thought there is no point in us trying to be a Mindshare, or a UM, or a Starcom. They are already very good at doing what they do.
“As a challenger brand, you need a different narrative to be able to communicate.”