BRUSSELS - Toyota Motor Europe has named Ammirati Puris Lintas, Paris, as its agency for central creative communications, a newly created role.
The appointment will not affect the relationships national Toyota distributors have with their local advertising agencies. Saatchi & Saatchi works with Toyota distributors in the UK, France and several central European markets. Worldwide, Saatchi works with Toyota in 31 countries. Toyota is the network's biggest client after Proctor & Gamble.
Previously, Toyota Europe worked informally with a number of agencies centrally on Europewide assignments including Saatchi, London; its former German agency BMZ!FCA, Dusseldorf; Javelin, Dublin; Egeberg, Copenhagen; and Dutch agency Catchline Communications.
APL, Saatchi and some unnamed agencies bid for the new central communications account.
During the last decade, multi-national marketers have regularly assigned a new pan-European task to an agency as a first step toward eventually consolidating all advertising with a single network. Asked if APL's assignment is a move toward consolidating all its advertising in Europe, Andy Pfeiffenberger, general manager for brand communications, said: 'At this stage it's not being considered.'
The new assignment will have two functions. At the strategic level for the Toyota brand, APL will work total brand strategy and model platform strategy. At the product level, APL may eventually handle the launches of niche, non-core products.
APL first gained an interest in Toyota's roster when last year its sister agency in Frankfurt, Change Communications, won Toyota's account for Germany, worth an estimated $70 million.
The new assignment does not affect Toyota's luxury brand Lexus. Toyota has 'no formal arrangement' on central work for Lexus, but 'tends' to work with Saatchi.
Last November Saatchi won the $119 million European launch account of the Toyota Yaris and earlier this year it handled the pan-European campaign for the IS200, Lexus' BMW 3 series challenger.