Digitas Europe SA to Handle DM for Saab

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Saab Automobile AB has named Digitas Europe SA, London, as its worldwide agency of record for direct and relationship marketing.

The appointment extends the Swedish automaker's relationship with Digitas, whose Boston office already handles U.S. online marketing for Saab Cars USA. General Motors Corp. owns Saab, Goteberg, Sweden.

Digitas competed with MRM Partners Worldwide, London; Lowe Live, New York; and two Swedish agencies for the Saab account, which is a 29-month contract. Billings were not disclosed.

"They're trying to better define their niche in the auto industry," said Danny Flamberg, senior vice president at Digitas Europe, London, and a columnist at iMarketing News. "Number two, they're trying to dramatically increase their sales. And, number three, they're trying to retain a larger percentage of their current customers in the brand."

The media plan for Saab calls for direct mail as well as direct response print, radio and television. Telemarketing for prospecting and customer dialogue also will play a key part.

Digitas will coordinate its marketing with Lowe Brindfors and Large Medium, Saab's global brand lead agency and worldwide interactive shop, respectively.

Digitas last year reported worldwide billings of $288 million from clients such as American Express Co., Kingfisher and priceline.com Inc.


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