Less than a year after naming new creative and media shops for its $160 million national ad account, Hyundai Motor America has asked both agencies to tune up their work.
Hyundai CEO Finbarr O'Neill said that Carat North America in New York needs to deliver more focused buys while also delivering savings on Hyundai's media. He also said the automaker is adjusting its creative work, which is handled by the Richards Group in Dallas.
Carat won the national buying and planning account from Bates/West in Irvine, Calif., in January 2002, and later picked up $400 million in dealer business for both Hyundai and Kia Motors America Inc. Until the shift of creative to Richards last year, Bates Worldwide had been Hyundai's sole agency since the brand's 1986 U.S. debut.
O'Neill said that Carat bought "too much fringe stuff" on TV networks in the fourth quarter of 2002, and that Hyundai is seeking a more focused buy of quality programming to reach its target audience.