Mercedes-Benz consolidates PR, marketing with Omnicom

Omnicom is also acquiring German PR firm Oliver Schrott Kommunikation, which counts the luxury automaker as a client.

Mercedes-Benz consolidates PR, marketing with Omnicom

STUTTGART, GERMANY: Mercedes-Benz has consolidated its global marketing and communications work with Omnicom Group, which has also acquired a German PR firm that counts the luxury automaker as a client.

The long-term partnership is set to launch under the name Team X in January 2022. The German automaker picked Omnicom following a six-month selection process. Team X will have cross-divisional responsibility for a large number of Mercedes business units in more than 40 markets worldwide.

Omnicom's Team X will handle the entire spectrum of services for Mercedes including brand and performance creative, CRM and media, web personalization and content adaptation, PR, events, social media and sponsorships in 40 markets.

Mercedes is seeking to develop digital and data-based media, as well as brand and performance marketing activities. Another goal for the new agency set-up is to simplify marketing operations by creating globally consistent brand experiences across customer touchpoints, Mercedes-Benz said in a statement.

The account move also means Mercedes’ marketing and media business will transition from fellow incumbent Publicis Groupe. Omnicom beat Publicis' Emil, a specialized unit set up for the automaker. OMD had global media responsibilities, which will be part of Team X. In China, BBDO did creative for Mercedes, which was handled by Merkley + Partners in the U.S. Both will continue their work as part of Team X. Antoni handled creative in Europe. 

This partnership “will create a fully integrated, global agency model - from performance content development to media playout and success measurement - which can serve interested parties and customers with relevant information at all contact points of the customer journey,” the automaker said in a statement. “This consolidation on the agency side is to follow the internal consolidation of performance marketing activities into international hubs in the four regions of the United States, Europe, China and overseas.”

To grow the brand’s luxury positioning, Mercedes is working to generate brand-defining experiences beyond the “classic campaign” from events to collaborations.

On Monday, Omnicom Group also said it is acquiring Oliver Schrott Kommunikation, which has handled Mercedes’ PR work on a global basis. The German PR and communications agency will operate as a standalone firm within Omnicom Public Relations Group. The holding company also said on Monday that it plans to acquire Antoni, a Berlin-based, digital-native advertising agency. 

“Mercedes was looking for a seamless agency model that could help in deploying a consistent brand promise around the world,” an Omnicom spokesperson said via email. “Omnicom explored different partnership models with top-performing Mercedes-Benz partners such as Antoni and OSK, ultimately deciding that an acquisition would offer the best integrated agency model for Mercedes.”

In April, Mercedes-Benz merged its internal marketing and communication departments into a unit headed by Bettina Fetzer, VP of communications and marketing for Mercedes-Benz. Tobias Just took over the position of head of corporate communications for Daimler and for Mercedes. Katja Bott is responsible for product, technology and brand communications at Mercedes, as well as for Mercedes-Benz Vans communications. 

On July 1, Daimler head of comms Jörg Howe took on the newly created position at Daimler Truck of special representative of external affairs and communications. 

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