Yesterday, the headlines in the marketing world was kept by the separation announcement between BMW and GSD&M Idea City agency, based in Austin.
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After five years, GSD&M Idea City and BMW are ending their relationship effective December 31st. 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 $140 million contract is set to expire at the end of this year, but it’s unclear how much Idea City’s portion of the account was worth in revenue. In 2009 in the U.S. alone, BMW 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.
Shortly after the news broke out, conspiracy theories emerged, mostly fueled by an AdAge article suggesting that BMW was fired by its own agency. Pulling a Donald Trump-like stunt is for sure noteworthy for front pages, but at the moment, none of the sides have confirmed these allegations.
We reached out to BMWNA for an official statement, embedded below:
BMW and GSD&M Idea City will end their relationship after the current contract expires. We thank GSD&M for their contributions over the last five years. They have been great partners.
However, we have a number of agency partners, both in the US and globally, that provide high quality work. We look forward to continuing to work with this team of great agencies now and in the future on a wide range of dynamic new products, technologies and initiatives.
As side note, the Joy campaign will continue to play a role in future marketing campaigns and it has never been seen internally as a replacement for the Ultimate Driving Machine slogan, but rather as an addition, a new marketing layer that reaches out to the current BMW younger demographic.