Publicis wins global Mercedes-Benz assignment

The automaker ends its local relationship with BBDO Canada to team up with Emil.
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Mercedes-Benz has selected Publicis as its new global agency network to lead creative and digital.

In the Canadian market, this means Mercedes-Benz will end its relationship with BBDO Canada at the end of its current contract on June 30. The automaker has been with the Omnicom agency in Canada since 2007, the last time it made a global creative agency shift.

Publicis will create a new dedicated agency called Publicis Emil to serve the account across roughly 40 markets. Emil will handle creative work in all but three markets, where the automaker is sticking with its current agencies: Omnicom’s Merkley + Partners in the U.S., Antoni in Germany and BBDO China in China.

Andrew Bruce, CEO of Publicis Communications for North America, said in an email that it was too early to say what Publicis Emil would look like in specific markets.

But on the global front, Publicis says the new agency (named for Emil Jellinek, who created the Mercedes trademark) will draw talent from across the holding company’s four divisions: Publicis Communications, Publicis Media, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis One.

Emil will be headquartered in Berlin and led by CEO Justin Billingsley, who was previously global COO for Publicis Communications. He will work with previous Publicis.Sapient EMEA VP Maggie Lonergan and Publicis Communications Europe chief transformation officer Claire Molyneux, who will lead “Region Europe” and “Region Overseas,” respectively.

The new assignment does not affect Mercedes-Benz’ relationship with media agency OMD Canada.