Rolls-Royce Drives to Wunderman

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BMW Group's Rolls-Royce Motor Cars unit named Harrison Troughton Wunderman, London, as its worldwide agency after ejecting Tequila from the position and rejecting pitches from OgilvyOne Worldwide, Rapier and WWAV Rapp Collins.

The new agency is to help the British automaker sell its Rolls-Royce Phantom luxury automobile through a worldwide marketing campaign spread over three years. The Phantom costs about $420,000, almost 90 percent more than its Volkswagen-owned rival Bentley Continental.

"Our mandate is to increase the sales of the Phantom from 700 a year to 1,000 worldwide," said Steve Harrison, managing director and creative partner at Harrison Troughton. "The Bentley Continental has been creating its own niche in the market whereas Rolls-Royce has remained static."

Harrison once was employed by former Rolls-Royce agency Ogilvy & Mather. His agency will begin work on an affinity program, targeting markets and networks that can influence peers into buying the Phantom. Stunts, posters, brand advertising and a bit of direct mail are planned, too.

The agency also will handle marketing for a new line of Rolls-Royce cars that will launch globally next year at auto shows. A two-door, four-seat convertible launches in 2007. Those models, and the more immediate push for the 2-year-old Phantom, aim to help Rolls-Royce retain its luster as the world's most coveted luxury car.

The British queen, various heads of state and celebrities have been customers of Rolls-Royce's handcrafted cars that are made in Goodwood, England. Dealers in Beverly Hills, New York, London and Tokyo tend to report the strongest sales worldwide.

"We would help position Rolls-Royce for the 21st century, help them to devise a brand idea," Harrison said.

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