Atomic 212 wins pitch for BMW media account worth close to $20m

Independent media agency Atomic 212 has won BMW Group’s media account, triumphing against Mediabrands’ Initiative and Group M’s Wavemaker in the closed pitch Mumbrella revealed had commenced in August. Mumbrella understands from agencies involved in the pitch that the account is worth close to $20 million.

The final three was whittled down to a final two comprised of Atomic and Initiative, who learned yesterday morning that the former business would be BMW’s new lead media agency, according to multiple sources.

Atomic 212 declined to comment, but BMW’s general manager of marketing, Tony Sesto, told Mumbrella the agency will begin working on the account from 1 January 2021. BMW declined to confirm the value of the account provided by sources close to the pitch.

The appointment is effective from 1 January

“BMW Group brands are constantly evolving, so is the communication landscape and how people consume news and information,” Sesto said.

“It was therefore important to select an agency partner with strong creative media buying credentials to ensure our brands have a more impactful presence in the busy marketplace. The account will include media buying for print, OOH, broadcast and digital.”

The incumbent, Vizeum, declined to take part in the pitch, which was announced shortly after the agency merged into iProspect, involving Vizeum CEO Ashley Earnshaw departing Dentsu.

Aegis acquired Mitchell Communications Group in 2010, whose agency Mitchell & Partners previously serviced BMW. Two years later, Aegis agency Vizeum began working on the account, and in 2013 officially took on the business, before retaining the account again in 2017 in a closed pitch setting.

Dentsu acknowledged that it wasn’t participating in the pitch because “the time is right for a change”.

The win caps off a big year for Atomic 212, which was heralded in by the addition of Bupa late in 2019. Last year, Atomic also won Greater BankSpirit of Tasmania, Beyond Blue and Charles Darwin University, and was reappointed to the $27 million NT Government account.

In 2020, the agency has added container deposit not-for-profit Exchange for Change and Dan Murphy and BWS’ performance media accounts to its roster, but also dealt with protracted legal proceedings against former CEO Jason Dooris.


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