BMW of North America has named MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners as its lead agency for national brand creative, regional and dealer advertising in the United States.
According to the contract terms, KBS&P will hang on to the account -- which according to Kantar is worth an estimated $160 million -- for a minimum of three years. The pitch didn't affect BMW's media agency of record, Interpublic Group of Cos.' Universal McCann.
“Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners hit a home run and left no doubt in our minds that they are the clear choice for the lead creative agency selection” said Dan Creed, vice president of marketing for BMW, said in a statement. “Kbs+p’s successful pitch energized our team, demonstrating a strong platform of impressive brand insight, and memorable creative execution.”
The agency is based in New York City and has handled national marketing for BMW on a project basis since last October. BMW signed a three-year contract with the agency.
BMW said it has not yet selected an agency for its multicultural and diversity advertising.
BMW’s previous agency GSD&M Idea City of Austin resigned the account last December after its contract expired. BMW launched an agency review in March.
KBS&P beat out four contenders in the final leg of the pitch: Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency and Gotham, Toronto-based Cundari, and WPP's Grey. The latter pitched only the dealer portion of the business due to WPP's exclusive agreement with automaker Ford.
"Throughout this process, KBS&P proved they not only understood the BMW brand, but the retail business as well," Donna Gebers, BMW dealer marketing forum chairperson, said in the statement. "The dealer body was happy to be a part of the selection process and is very much looking forward to working with KBS&P."
It helps that the dealers have had some time to get to know KBS&P, since it was already handling customer-relationship marketing and digital marketing for BMW through its Dotglu arm.
For KBS&P, winning full-scale creative duties for BMW's stateside operations marks the biggest account the shop has netted since Lori Senecal took over as president CEO in 2009.
Rupal Parekh of Advertising Age contributed to this report.