LONDON - Land Rover is gearing up to review its global account, which has been handled by WCRS, London, since 1997.
The move follows Ford Motor Co.'s acquisition of Land Rover from BMW in April, creating a conflict of interest for WCRS, the German automaker's agency for more than 20 years.
Land Rover's Sales and Marketing Director Matthew Taylor said: 'WCRS needs to make a decision as to which account they will go with. It seems they are going with BMW.'
He added: 'If that is the case, we will have to go to another agency.'
A WCRS spokeswoman said the agency had 'sadly' been forced to end its relationship with Land Rover due to a 'conflict of clients'.
Taylor refuted reports in UK advertising trade publications that suggested J. Walter Thompson Co. is poised to win the global business. He admitted,
however, that he had been in talks with the agency.
'I've spoken to JWT about how they went about repositioning Jaguar. I wanted to know if they had any lessons to teach us.'
He added: 'But that doesn't mean I am or am not going to use JWT as an agency in the future.'
JWT London declined to comment.
Meanwhile, BMW has given WCRS an additional E15 million contract to launch the New Mini. The work was awarded without a pitch. The brief is for the UK until BMW decides when to roll out the Mini in other markets.
Emma Scammell, Mini marketing manager at BMW, said: 'WCRS's pedigree in highly distinctive and aspirational car brands makes them ideally placed to create a spectacular launch for the New Mini.'
Stephen Woodford, CEO at WCRS, said: 'Mini is one of the world's greatest car brands. We are delighted to have the opportunity to create what we hope will become as much of a cult car as the first Mini, 40 years ago.'