It is a major coup for Omnicom Media Group’s PHD, which beat WPP’s MediaCom and Interpublic’s Mediabrands to drive off with the German carmaker, the world’s fifth biggest advertiser, in a global consolidation covering more than 30 countries.
Volkswagen has used MediaCom since 1998, and the WPP network looked after about 90 percent of its global media planning and buying, including that for its top brands such as VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat, in most international territories.
PHD already had a relationship with Volkswagen, as it handled the upmarket brands Bentley and Porsche globally as well as Seat in the UK.
Volkswagen began its review a year ago as part of what was dubbed the 'Mediapalooza', as a string of big-spending advertisers put their media-buying up for pitch. The process continued despite a major scandal over the rigging of diesel emissions that began in September.
Volkswagen is thought to spend about US$2.8 billion globally on media.
It is understood that Volkswagen wants a greater emphasis on digital and programmatic from PHD, which will take over the account from 2017.