Rover has appointed M&C Saatchi to handle its global advertising account in a bid to project a more consistent international image for its three-car range.
The move will split Rover's passenger car advertising from Land Rover and BMW, whose creative agency is WCRS. WCRS has been working on Rover's international account for just five months.
'WCRS continues to support BMW Group advertising on the BMW and Land Rover brands,' said Steve Miller, communications director for the Rover brand. 'The decision to focus on one agency - M&C Saatchi - was taken to produce a homogenous picture of Rover across the world.'
The news comes as the new WCRS-penned Rover 25 and 45 campaigns are rolled out in 36 markets worldwide. The two ranges - which are revamped versions of the old 200 and 400 - have adopted the Rover 'family face' from the 75 sedan.
Although WCRS handled the 25 and 45's international accounts, the current campaigns for the cars in the UK were devised by M&C Saatchi. The two agencies' approach has been markedly different. While the international advertisements stress the upmarket feel of the Rovers, the UK 25 and 45 advertisements focus on value for money, size, and building excitement into the brand.
The success of the 25 and 45 in international markets is crucial to the future of Rover. They must maintain sales until a new replacement for both models arrives in 2003.