Ford is understood to have handed Land Rover’s £50m global account to Young & Rubicam. At the same time, it has restored Ogilvy & Mather as its lead agency in Europe.
WPP-owned O&M is understood to have picked up more than £100m of European business moved from sister network Y&R. Car marques moving include the Fiesta, Ka, Focus and the Galaxy, according to sources.
Former lead agency Y&R was shortlisted for the global Land Rover business with Grey Worldwide after an earlier pitch against HHCL & Partners, Wieden & Kennedy and J Walter Thompson. Land Rover has reported ad spend of around £20m in the UK.
The creative review of Land Rover follows the sale of the business to Ford earlier this year by BMW. The incumbent on the account WCRS, which also works on BMW, was forced to resign the business due to a conflict of interest.
Ogilvy & Mather lost its lead role on the Ford business in 1998 when the European Fiesta and Ka accounts, worth an estimated £65m, moved into Young & Rubicam (MW July 1998).
This followed the appointment of Y&R to handle the launch of the Focus across Europe, believed at the time to have been worth £60m.
It is understood that Y&R will continue to handle the Cougar and Explorer ranges, as well as the Puma and Ford corporate accounts. Ogilvy & Mather currently handles the Mondeo business across Europe.
A major restructuring of Ford’s global operations, initiated by chief executive Jacques Nasser, took effect earlier this year. It is thought that this has led to the agency re-think.
l Ford is to shake up the advertising for its dealership business, giving some of the account handled by Ogilvy & Mather to Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalf/Y&R. The move comes as part of a worldwide restructuring of Ford’s advertising, which will now see dealership advertising handled on an individual car-model basis.
O&M refused to comment on Ford’s new strategy and there was no one available at Ford to confirm the changes to its advertising arrangements. However, one industry insider says: “The move was decided in the US. Ford management see the dealer business as a separate account and as a waste of money.”