Volkswagen seeks new AOR

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Volkswagen of America is on the hunt for a new agency of record as the automaker looks to go more mainstream. The new AOR will be responsible for all aspects of marketing and advertising.

“We have a very lofty sales goal. We want to sell 800,000 cars by 2018 and to do this we have to get out of the niche mindset that we have been in,” said Tom Wegehaupt, PR coordinator for Volkswagen. “Our agency might not change, but we are doing this to make sure that we have the right partner.”

Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Volkswagen's current AOR, has been invited by the car company to pitch for the business, but has confirmed that they will not participate. “We have been very privileged to have had the opportunity to work with Volkswagen for the past four years and are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished together,” said Katie Kempner, VP of communications Crispin Porter & Bogusky, in an e-mail. “As a rule, we do not participate in reviews for our current accounts and this will not be an exception. However, it has been a terrific partnership and we wish Volkswagen the absolute best.”

To meet its sales goal, Volkswagen will be introducing new car models including a new sedan next year and a compact sedan in 2011. These new models will be manufactured in Volkswagen's new production facility which is being built in Chattanooga, TN. Both models have been designed with the specific wants and needs of the US consumer in mind. “These new products will take us from being a niche player to being a volume brand,” added Wegehaup.

Volkswagen would not confirm the agencies that will be considered but they did say that they have contracted with Roth Associates in order to begin the review process. Wegenhaupt said that Volkswagen expects the review process to be completed in 60 days.

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