AIS on alert as Škoda calls DM review

skoda_badge-438x271AIS London’s 14 year, multi-award winning relationship with Škoda is under threat following the car company’s decision to call a review of its UK direct marketing account.
The agency, which played a crucial role in turning the brand from something of a joke into a mainstream marque, first scooped the business in 2001 after being appointed by then head of CRM Chris Hawkin. It also recently launched activity promoting Škoda bicycles to coincide with the Tour de France opening in the UK.
One of its most awarded pieces of work was the agency’s first campaign for the company, which is now seen as a direct mail classic. The “Live with the badge” mailing (pictured), devised by Steve Stretton and Matt Morley-Brown, was aimed at tackling prejudice against the Škoda brand by making people more comfortable with the Škoda badge itself.
A second execution, devised by John Treacy and Dan Colley, was designed to look like an official document from Škoda’s head of technical development and research in the Czech Republic; this arrived complete with an employee file and a logbook. Both went on to pick up numerous industry gongs, including DMA Awards, Campaign Direct, John Caples and Echos.
During this time, AIS has worked with ad agency Fallon on business; Fallon was appointed lead creative agency across Europe in May last year.
The DM review comes at a tumultuous time for Škoda, as it is one of the Volkswagen-owned brands which has been engulfed in the emissions scandal.
The winning agency will be briefed to once again overturn negative perceptions, something no doubt the team at AIS will stress to the client that it has been doing succesfully for the past 14 years.

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