AUBURN HILLS, MI: Volkswagen of America (VOA), the US and Canadian
sales arm of VW of Germany, has named Marx Layne as its PR agency of
record for corporate and product PR.
The award culminates a search that began last November and,
significantly, only Detroit-area agencies were invited to pitch for the
VOA and Marx Layne would not comment on the account's expected revenue,
though it's rumored in Detroit PR circles to be worth $1
"We wanted someone physically close," Steve Keyes, VOA's PR director
told PRWeek, "and with a sense of the auto industry." VOA had used
national agencies in the past for specific projects, but found that none
had a feel for the car culture.
The Marx Layne deal is a new account, not replacing another agency. The
firm will work on strategic communications counseling, media relations,
crisis and issues management, press events, and auto shows.
Marx Layne has added about five people to bring its staff to about
The firm will supplement VOA's in-house staff of eight. Marx Layne
partner Don Tanner will head the VW side of the new account, while Mike
Szudarek will handle Audi. "We'll be a seamless arm of their in-house
marketing team," said Michael Layne, one of the 15-year-old agency's
VOA holds about 5% of the US car market.