PHD has triumphed in the race to win Volkswagen Group's estimated £2 billion global media planning and buying account.
It is a major coup for Omnicom Media Group’s PHD which beat WPP’s MediaCom and Interpublic’s Mediabrands to drive off with the German car maker, the world’s fifth biggest advertiser, in a global consolidation covering more than 30 countries, including India.
Volkswagen has used MediaCom since 1998 and the WPP network looked after about 90 per cent of its global media planning and buying, including for its top brands such as VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat in most international territories.
PHD already had a relationship with Volkswagen as it handled the upmarket brands Bentley and Porsche globally as well as Seat in the UK.
Volkswagen began its review a year ago as part of what was dubbed a Mediapalooza, as a string of big-spending advertisers put their media-buying up for pitch, and it continued with the process despite a major scandal over the rigging of diesel emissions in the US in September.
Volkswagen is thought to spend about £2 billion, or nearly $3 billion, globally on media. The win is expected to increase PHD’s billings by close to £100 million in the UK alone.
It is understood that Volkswagen wants a greater emphasis on digital and programmatic from PHD, which will take over the account from 2017.
(This article first appeared on CampaignLive.co.uk)