Ford Motor Co. on Wednesday said it will shift its $50 million North American Land Rover account from Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, to WPP Group's Y&R Cos., Irvine, Calif.
A Land Rover spokesman said Y&R will assume the account Oct. 10 and will prepare the launch of the all-new, three-door Freelander sport utility in late 2002.
The bulk of Land Rover's media buying will remain at Ford Motor Media, Detroit, a Ford-dedicated buyer and subsidiary of J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit. The spokesman said WPP's Mediaedge:cia will handle media strategy and "some elements of buying."
The deal also includes creative, at Y&R Advertising, and direct advertising services at Wunderman.
The move gives the Y&R network the only piece of Land Rover business it did not control; Young & Rubicam, London, has handled the worldwide account excluding North America for about a year.
GSD&M landed Land Rover's North American creative and media in March 2000, shortly before Ford bought the U.K.-based company. The move to Y&R, which also handles Ford's Lincoln and Mercury brands, had been anticipated.
"With Jaguar and Land Rover now under the same management as a consolidated enterprise, it makes sense for us to gain global perspective and efficiencies by sharing the global advertising agency," said Jon Williams, vice president, Marketing, Land Rover North America. "Y&R has a strong track record in both automotive and luxury market segments and will be a key part of our drive to broaden the appeal of Land Rover products to a wider range of buyers in North America," Williams added.