BRENTWOOD, England - In a bid to unify its brand image across Europe, Ford Motor Co. has returned $200 million in annual advertising to the Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide agency in London from Young & Rubicam.
The shift, effective sometime in the first quarter 2001, gives Ogilvy & Mather responsibility for all Ford-brand advertising in Europe. It had held the business until 1998, when Ford switched several key advertising accounts, including the $100 million Focus launch, to Young & Rubicam.
With the switch, Ogilvy & Mather regains the Focus advertising account, as well as the accounts for the Fiesta, Galaxy and Ka.
Murat Yalman, Ford of Europe's vice president of marketing, says the expansion of Ford's stable of brands globally, coupled with the acquisition of Young & Rubicam by WPP Group earlier this year, led to the move.
'It now makes sense for us to focus Ford product marketing activities in Europe on one agency, as Ford already does in the U.S.A.,' Yalman said.
'This will allow the development of all-important brand consistency for Ford, which is fundamental to our European business objectives over the coming years.'
In an important consolation prize, however, Ford named Young & Rubicam as lead agency for Land Rover outside the United States. The previous agency, WCRS, resigned the account after Ford bought Land Rover from BMW AG in May. WCRS is BMW's long-time agency in the United Kingdom.
Within the United States, the Land Rover account remains with Omnicom Group's GSD&M in Austin, Texas. Worldwide, the account is estimated to be worth $75 million.
Last week's announcement is part of Ford's plan to focus all global activities within three WPP Group agencies: Ogilvy & Mather, Young & Rubicam and J. Walter Thompson Co., which handles the $630 million Ford Division account in the United States.
Ogilvy & Mather also handles Ford's Jaguar brand in North America, while J. Walter Thompson has the account in Europe. In addition to North America, J. Walter Thompson also handles the Ford brand in South America.
Non-WPP agencies working for Ford include Euro RSCG Worldwide on the global Volvo account and Doner, based in Southfield, Mich., which has the account for Mazda North American Operations.