Miami-based Crispin Porter & Bogusky was named yesterday by BMW of North America to relaunch the classic Mini Cooper auto – the erstwhile personification of Britain’s Swinging Sixties, the miniskirt, Kings Road and the Beatles.

The sporty little auto, now owned by German carmaker BMW after it acquired the UK’s Rover Group in the mid-90s, will be reintroduced to the USA in March 2002. There will be two models: the Mini Cooper and the Mini Cooper S (supercharged engine), retailing via seventy dealerships across the country at prices starting below $18,000.

Crispin Porter, born like the Mini in the mid-sixties, currently bills around $150 million annually, and is best known for its sophisticated Truth anti-smoking ads targeting teenagers. The assignment is its first national auto account.

The shop out-accelerated New York rivals Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners and Margeotes/Fertitta & Partners to win the business which is expected to bill $4-to-$5 million this year, rising sharply to $25m in 2002.

Said a delighted Jeff Hicks, partner and president at Crispin Porter: "I can't remember much of a better day." He thanked "every one of our 102 employees who made this possible, an absolutely monstrous undertaking for the agency."

News source: New York Times