Car Advertising Accounts The Buzz At The NY Auto Show

Forgive me if this is a little bit
David Kiley

Forgive me if this is a little bit "Inside Baseball," but I can't help myself.

Car advertising accounts seem to be very much in play right now, with good sources of mine feeding me the likely scenarios shaping up in the coming weeks.

First, Arnold Worldwide was nabbed a few days ago in this blog-space pitching both the Volvo worldwide account, as well as the Hyundai Motor America account. Typically, pitching two competing accounts doesn't play well with prospective clients. But Adweek, which followed my report, says that Volvo CMO seems to be aware of the double dip.

Previously, I reported that Hyundai contenders included Strawberry Frog, Goodby Silverstein +Partners, Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners, Siltanen & Partners and Arnold. You can add New York agency Amalgamated to that list. Agencies pitch next week.

As the dust settles on these accounts, look for two more to pop. Sources are telling me that the eccentric powers that be at Volkswagen are going to review their account now at Crispin Porter + Bogusky. I'm not too happy about this, of course, having written a Businessweek cover story about a year ago chronicling how "The Craziest Ad Guys In America" were going to rekindle our love affair with Volkswagen. But CP+B was chosen by former VW marketing head Kerri Martin, who was launched out of VW last December following a series of management shake-ups in Germany.I think Crispin would have done very well had the agency not run into the quakes of political madness in Germany stemming from VW supervisory chairman Ferdinand Piech's sieze of control over the company.

The word is that VW, which has a long-standing global relationship with DDB, will ask that agency to pitch the account, or it will hand the business to DDB in the not-too-distant future. DDB already handles Subaru of America in the U.S. But let's face it. That relationship hasn't worked out very well. Quick...describe the current Subaru campaign.

That move will lead Subaru of America marketing chief Tim Mahoney to find a new ad agency. Mahoney recently returned to Subaru after a turn at Porsche Cars, which is also running an ad review. Porsche's ad agency, Carmichael-Lynch of Minneapolis, could easily end up with the Subaru business.

That's what I hear on the floor of The New York Auto Show.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.