Charm Communications has won FAW-Volkswagen's media planning and buying business until 2020, following a five-way pitch.
The account, claimed to be worth RMB2 billion (US$298 million) in annual billings, will be led by Li Linna, Charm's chief operating officer.
This is the first time FAW-Volkswagen has handed over its Chinese media duties to a local broker. Incumbent agency MediaCom China clocked a relationship with the client for the past 12 years until this handover.
For the next two years, Charm will provide media strategy services covering traditional TV, outdoor, newspapers, magazines, and OTT platforms for FAW-Volkswagen, including the Audi and Volkswagen brands operating under the joint venture in China.
Beijing-based Charm is traditionally seen as a sales house or broker, a type of company that is unique to the media ecosystem in China and which typically doesn't offer strategic services. This win signifies that such companies are expanding their capabilities to compete head to head with full-service international media agencies.