Debt-beset MG Rover, Britain's sole surviving large-scale carmaker, has announced a sweeping review of its £40 million ($62.69m; €58.17m) advertising and marketing budget.

MGR has already served notice on most of its agencies and marketing services providers, among them M&C Saatchi which has held the creative account since 1999. Sweaty palms are also in evidence at the carmaker’s other agencies – save ZenithOptimedia, whose media-buying business is unaffected by the review.

MGR’s head of communications Greg Allport confirmed that some marketing services may be taken in-house during the review process, which will be overseen by sales and marketing director John Sanders.

Although still struggling under a debt millstone, which stood at £800 million when the company was bought in May 2000 from BMW by Phoenix Venture Holdings, MGR has progressively reduced its annual losses. Halving its £400m deficit in 2000 to £200m in 2001, it has yet to unveil its results for 2002 – but these are expected to halve again to around £100m.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the company spent £37.5m on advertising in 2002.

Data sourced from: BrandRepublic (UK); additional content by WARC staff