Pitching battle ensues as Motorcorp Distributors drives Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover and Renault brands into one account

Pitching for any account is a competitive affair but when you’re pitching for a lucrative account that features five big-name, top-end car brands, you better be firing out the big guns. And that’s just what four agencies are currently doing as they muscle it out to win the newly consolidated Motorcorp Distributors range of brands—Volvo, Jaguar, Land Rover, Range Rover and Renault.

But the four agencies in the running for the account remain shrouded in a veil of mystery. Motorcorp chairman Russ Reynolds remained tight lipped when we asked him who the frontrunners might be, though he says he hopes to make the winning announcement late next week or early the following week.

“We’ve gone through a fairly good process and we’ve got it down to a final four and those discussions will take place next week,” says Reynolds.

He says the decision to have just one agency looking after all the brands is one of many areas that needed to be addressed as part of the company’s efforts to restructure the business.

“It’s not to say there’s weakness with our existing partners. But what I want to do from a business perspective is consolidate our marketing budgets and get a company that is more a partner than just a supplier.”

Reynold’s says the decision to work with just one agency makes even more sense because Renault is also relaunching its brand.

The single account decision means it’s the end of the road for Special Group who last year unleashed a daring online campaign for Volvo that takes a sharp turn away from an often conservative Volvo brand association. The remaining brands—Range Rover, Land Rover and Jaguar—have been held by River.

Special’s creative director Tony Bradbourne wouldn’t comment on loosing the account, but says there are some really good agencies going for the new account and that’s where the focus should be. He also says Special did not put a pitch forward.

But while it’s farewell to one account, there’s plenty more in the pipeline for Special. The agency has picked up two new accounts, though Bradbourne won’t divulge who they’re for.

“Unfortunately I can’t tell you yet. We’re just waiting for quotes etc,” says Bradbourne.

In other account shifting news, it looks as if part of BNZ’s ad account will be going to justONE, leaving agency Sugar with less to chew on. Managing director at JustONE Ben Goodale didn’t want to comment at this stage.

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