Audi of America splits digital business among 4 agencies

Incumbent AKQA took part in the pitch but did not retain any work.

Audi of America has ended an eight-year relationship with AKQA and farmed out its digital business to four agencies, Campaign US has learned.

The automotive brand will work with Rauxa to wrangle digital marketing, U.K.-based Ixis for data analytics, as well as existing partners SOMO and Designory for technical development and product enterprise/content respectively, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Simon Jefferson, AKQA managing partner, said: "We thank Audi for an eight-year partnership that launched industry leading work: from the data-driven redesign of AudiUSA.com and myAudi personalized services; to advanced retail tools for the dealer network; to the breakthrough Audi on Demand and, most recently, the launch of Audi’s first electric vehicle, e-tron. We look forward to Audi’s inspiring contribution to the automotive industry."

Audi of America declined to comment. 

Venables Bell and Partners is Audi’s longstanding creative agency of record in the U.S. They have been working together since 2006.

Audi called a review earlier this year for its U.K. creative business, putting 37-year incumbent Bartle Bogle Hegarty on alert.

BBH London will battle it out against Engine, M&C Saatchi and VCCP to keep hold of the Audi creative account, reports Campaign UK.

The marque held chemistry meetings last month with these agencies, as well as Brothers and Sisters, Mother and MullenLowe London. Mother and MullenLowe were shortlisted but declined to pitch. Brothers and Sisters did not get through to the shortlist stage.

Audi had also approached Leo Burnett London, Lucky Generals, Ogilvy, Saatchi & Saatchi London and VMLY&R about the review, but they declined to take part.

Last week, the Audi Group reported a first-quarter revenue and operating profit decline, year-over-year, as well as a 3.6 percent decrease in cars delivered to customers compared to Q1 2018. Despite a challenging year ahead, the automaker said at the time that it expects slight revenue and vehicle-sales growth.

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