Fiat realigns £150m media business into WPP

LONDON - (2 January update) Fiat, the Italian car manufacturer, is set to realign its £150m European media business into WPP-owned agencies, a move that will see the £10m UK account, currently handled by Publicis Groupe's Starcom, move into Mediaedge:cia.

Luxury sports marque Maserati, part of the Fiat Group.
Luxury sports marque Maserati, part of the Fiat Group.

Elsewhere in Europe, the Fiat business will be handled by WPP's expanding Maxus network. It's new UK arm (formerly BJK&E) was unable to host the account alongside rival Mercedes-Benz and Chrylser businesses. 

The Fiat Group designs, produces and sells cars worldwide under the Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Fiat Professional and Abarth brands. Luxury sports marques Maserati and Ferrari are also part of the Fiat Group.

The decision to switch all European media planning and buying activities into WPP agencies comes less than four years after Sir Martin Sorrell's marketing group took a 49% stake in the in-house Fiat Media Centre in Italy.

The acquisition in April 2005 sparked speculation of a possible regional review of all Fiat's media requirements. Earlier this year, Fiat moved its £8m Alfa Romeo account out of Starcom and into WPP's Mediaedge:cia, but Starcom continued to handle planning and buying for Fiat cars.

The latest move is expected to start from January (2009), and ends a 17-year relationship that began when Leo Burnett and DMB&B, the two networks that went on to launch Starcom MediaVest, were named as Fiat agencies in 1991.

When the European business moves into Maxus it will mark the network's first major new account since Kelly Clark became global CEO in October, tasked with developing Maxus around the world.

Since 2005, the Fiat Group has undergone a restructure that led to 15 consective quarters of growth. However, the Italian carmaker admitted to being caught in "the perfect storm" of adverse market conditions this summer, said to necessitate an increase in the sale price of its cars in line with raw material price hikes.

It is not known if Fiat's creative account in the UK, handled by Krow since 2006, will be affected by the realignment.

Have your say...

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Media Week Jobs
Search for more media jobs

Latest

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up

Waitrose has joined forces with Channel 4 and produced a Saturday morning lifestyle and cookery programme called 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose', with TV presenters Lisa Snowdon and Steve Jones signed up to front it.

Share
Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

Newspaper ABCs: Guardian smashes through 100m browsers in March 2014

The Guardian reached more than 100 million monthly unique browsers for the first time in March, according to Audit Bureau of Circulations figures published today.

Share
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers

Italians swearing and shouting while sitting behind the wheels of their cars and negotiating the busy streets of Rome could become a thing of the past if they all start driving Toyota's Hybrid vehicles, implies a short film for the car brand.

Share

Get news by email