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GSD&M Idea Agency and BMW Part Ways After Five Years

Featured Posts, News | October 22nd, 2010 by 20
bmw is joy

After five years of love and Joy, GSD&M Idea City and BMW are ending their relationship. The split comes on the heels of the death …

After five years of love and Joy, GSD&M Idea City and BMW are ending their relationship. The split comes on the heels of the death this summer of BMW’s VP-marketing of North America, Jack Pitney, a longtime advocate for the shop, and just over a year since the agency won a pitch to handle global brand marketing for the automaker.

The end of the collaboration is set for December 31 when the nearly $140 million contract expires. AdAge reached out to the agency for an official comment, but an agency spokesman declined to talk about reasons for the split. It’s not clear whether the car maker was planning to renew. BMW has yet to make an official statement as well.

According to AdAge and not confirmed by other sources, said that agency insiders who were present at a meeting called this morning to share the news said staffers were told that the agency initiated the split. Reasons for the separation? “Relationships are no longer strong with the marketing team, particularly in the wake of Mr. Pitney’s death; the agency wasn’t making enough money on the account; and there wasn’t an opportunity to do the kind of work the agency had hoped to undertake”, AdAge reports.

GSD&M Idea Agency and BMW Part Ways After Five YearsIt’s unclear how much Idea City’s portion of the account was worth in revenue, but in billings, BMW spends a significant amount. In 2009 in the U.S. alone, the automaker devoted $138 million to domestic measured media, and its on track to surpass that this year, having spent $83 million in the first six months of 2010 alone.

At the moment, no news on when and who will be the next agency handling some of BMW’s marketing. BMW currently works with agencies at an array of holding companies, including WPP’s Grey; Dotglu, an arm of MDC Partners’ Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners; and Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Universal McCann, which handles media duties.

GSD&M won national creative duties for BMW in November 2005 after a pitch Mr. Pitney called just two months after taking over marketing duties. But the big break for the agency came in 2009, when BMW awarded them an worldwide ad account despite being a U.S. shop without much global experience.

AdAge reports further: “At the time of his death, Mr. Pitney oversaw marketing and product development for the BMW brand in the U.S., but was set to assume a new job as VP for BMW’s eastern region, the car maker’s largest U.S. sales zone. He was long viewed as the leading champion at BMW for GSD&M, having been close with the agency’s staffers.”

The regretted Mr. Pitney said in an interview earlier this year for AdAge that “The [new] ‘Joy’ campaign is a global campaign, and I’m proud to say our agency, GSD&M, pitched and won the global BMW business. This is the first time that BMW has had one agency on a global level.””

Stay tuned for an official response from BMW.

[Source: AdAge ]

  • Marco B

    Good riddance. I never liked the ‘Joy’ concept.

    Go back to the old ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’!!!

    • RacecarBMW

      This guy deserves +1000000

      Lets hope BMW goes back to Ultimate Driving Machine

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      I don’t think the Joy will go away…

    • bob

      BMW has never(!) gotten away from ‘UDM’. Ever!

      It’s kinda remarkable that so many have gotten their collective panties-in-a-wad…foolishly thinking ‘Joy’ is a replacement to ‘UDM’…when, in reality, ‘Joy’ is just an overlay to the long-standing, core ‘UDM’ message.

      If people would just listen to what BMW has been saying, there wouldn’t be an issue…

      • oly

        If BMW would just get a decent agency, people wouldn’t have an issue hearing the right message

  • T

    WCRS based in London.

  • Laszlo

    to be honest lately BMW’s marking was less then stellar. The ads were a bit boring and too much toyota-like and the JOY was downright silly.
    The worst was the don’t-blog-about-this type of – we show you that we can not show you – game. Childish amateur gimmicks, totally degrading BMW in the field. BMW is a serious long time car maker, they have a position on the market where they don’t need to play this game. It makes them look incompetent and serious enough.
    If all this was this marketing firm’s idea, then it is a good choice, find a better more capable company.
    I have also heard rumors that Mr. Pitney’s “promotion” was actually not a promotion but a demotion. Seemed like a nice enough guy, but we may never find the truth.

    Let the ultimate driving machine back into the media and forget this JOY B.S.

    • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

      You actually heard wrong this time. Jack was in line to become BMWNA CEO in the future and he needed the sales experience. It would have been a good move for him to take over the 5th largest market in the world, the East Region.

      • bob

        To be accurate, NA doesn’t have a CEO slot.

  • Laszlo

    I thought so too but even some magazine reported that they were not sure what was a meaning of this promo. He certainly had a good carrier and was most likely in the line for an even better one.

    The ad agency departing is weird, as he was an advocate for this company. Seems like the minute he was gone the deal fell through.

    The ad agency might have been successful, but me and many other people don’t like it. I actually think it was degrading BMW as a whole company. Specially the “don’t-blog-about-this” and the half covered car pictures and half-story’s and half information’s.

  • Marco B

    I totally agree that it was degrading all that ‘don’t blog about’ & Joy stuff….

    BMW’s a serious car maker — time for them to get serious! Yeah! FInally!!!

  • bob

    Um, if we’re paying attention, wasn’t ‘Dontblogaboutthis’ actually *blog’d* here? If so, then it worked/was effective to a certain degree.

    • bob

      …with just minute to spare. Excellent! ;-)

      • bob

        Er, that would “just ONE minute to spare…”

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    everyone, don’t knockout the dontblogabouthis yet…next episode very soon and a huge surprise for you. 2 weeks from now, BMWBLOG will deliver.

    • XC

      Can’t wait, really. I actually like this campaign; it’s causing a stir, like it or not,

  • XC

    Not a fan of the Joy campaign. It was simply dull.

  • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

    Joy is not going anywhere. It was never a replacement for UDM, but rather a layer within the marketing strategy. With a younger demographic than 10-20 yrs ago, I personally (this is not BMWBLOG’s opinion) believe that they are on the right track, they are pushing out interesting and catchy virals, videos, ads and also reaching out to social media channels where….the younger demographic resides.

    I could write a thesis on this, but maybe some other time.

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