Ogilvy & Mather has been left reeling after its loss of Ford lead agency status to Young & Rubicam, which has snatched the estimated 65m European Ford Fiesta and Ka accounts.
The news comes days after Y&R won the Focus launch business, believed to be worth about 60m across Europe (MW July 9).
A spokesman for Ford says: “Y&R is assuming lead responsibility for Ford’s marketing communications. It will have respon- sibility for the Focus, Fiesta, Ka and all speciality cars including the Galaxy, Puma, Cougar and the new Lincoln brand next year.”
O&M will hold on to the Escort – which will continue in production until 2000 – the Mondeo account, the highly profitable Ford Dealer advertising and its commercial vehicle range. It will also gain these accounts in Germany for the first time.
The news will be a crushing blow for O&M. Ford accounts for about six per cent of the agency’s revenues worldwide. Staff in London were informed of the realignment at an emergency meeting yesterday (Tuesday). It is not known if there will be any redundancies, but informed sources have been speculating about the future at O&M of Kelly O’Dea, worldwide client services director, and Sean Neall, client services director on the Ford of Europe account.
The account changes will take effect from January 1, 1999, when the motor giant will also move from commission-based to fee-based remuneration.
The Ford spokesman was unwilling to confirm how much the Ka and Fiesta business is worth across Europe, but the combined accounts are estimated to add up to about 65m.
In the UK, the Fiesta account is worth 5.5m and the Ka is worth 5m. MindShare has retained Ford’s media buying across Europe.
O&M Shell story, page 10