Havas drives away with VW’s CRM business after epic pitch

VW: logo on the company's HQ in Wolfsburg. Germany
VW: logo on the company's HQ in Wolfsburg. Germany

The Vivendi-owned agency group takes on seven brands under the VW umbrella.

Havas CX London has been appointed by Volkswagen as its retained CRM partner after triumphing during a competitive and protracted pitch process involving the incumbent Rapp.

The agency has been awarded the work for the multiple brands that sit within Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Financial Services: VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda, Cupra, VW Commercial Vehicles and Volkswagen Financial Services.

Havas CX will be responsible for devising CRM strategies for all seven brands, each of which is at a different stage in establishing, maturing and delivering its CRM programme. The agency will be collaborating with VW's roster of partner agencies in aligning CRM to broader comms.

While Havas CX London (a UK office of Havas CX global network) won the business, the account will be led by London-based agency Havas CX Helia, with talent pulled in from across the network where needed.

The incumbent on the CRM account is Rapp (formerly Proximity), which will help transition the account during May and June. Havas CX's initial three-year contract starts in July 2021.

Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen UK, said: "All Volkswagen Group Brands and Volkswagen Financial Services have a sharp and increasing focus on improving customer satisfaction and customer loyalty. We needed a partner which was ready and able to respond to customer expectations and to develop and embrace new technologies.

"Havas CX London – with its expertise and proven track record – demonstrated this throughout the tender process, and we are looking forward to working together for the benefit of our brands and customers in the coming years."

The pitch process was believed to have originally kicked off in late 2019, but was put on hold. Campaign first reported the review in February 2020, when a number of agencies, including Havas, Ogilvy, (pre-merger) Proximity and TMW Unlimited were taking part.

Dominique Bergantino, managing director, London at Havas CX Helia, added: "We are so excited by the opportunity to work with such an iconic suite of brands – brands that make a tangible, meaningful difference to people's lives every single day.

"We're particularly proud that Volkswagen Group and Volkswagen Financial Services have entrusted us with these brands at such a crucial time for the automotive industry, and a time whereby a company's relationships with its customers have never been more critical to success."

Earlier this year brought the resolution of another lengthy pitch process for the automotive giant, when 20-year incumbent Tribal was successful in retaining VW's international digital marketing account. That pitch lasted about 12 months.

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