The advertising issue has become controversial since Chrysler put its black and Hispanic advertising accounts into review April 28, saying it no longer may be necessary to have separate ethnic agencies to reach out to ethnic minorities such as blacks and Hispanics.
Chrysler's new multicultural focus is on urban marketing, which the company says can apply to consumers of all ages and colors by creating trendy, hip messages with a blend of various cultures. And Murphy has said the winning agency need not be owned by people of color, but it must have the expertise and resources to handle the company's new vision.
Chrysler's strategy concerns Jackson because black-owned and Hispanic-owned agencies traditionally have handled the black and Hispanic markets respectively for Chrysler group.
"Urban cannot mean elimination" of minority agencies, he said. "When you're looking for market growth, you must have market inclusion and sensitivity."
The former Don Coleman Advertising Inc. in Southfield, Mich., has handled Chrysler's black advertising since 1994. Chrysler's Hispanic agency, the former Montemayor y Asociados in San Antonio, has had the Hispanic account since 1987. On April 1, Coleman merged both agencies under GlobalHue, in Southfield, to focus on urban marketing.
Total billings for both accounts were about $40 million, but Murphy says Chrysler plans to spend much more on urban marketing.