When top marketers of Subaru of America Inc. met for lunch last month with executives of the automaker's advertising agency, DDB Worldwide, an unpleasant surprise was on the menu.
Subaru yanked the $150 million a year ad account that DDB, of New York, had held for three years. Without a review, Subaru gave the account to Carmichael Lynch, of Minneapolis.
What happened? A stunned DDB insider told a reporter: "Tell me when you find out."
Tim Mahoney, Subaru's chief marketing officer, worked with Carmichael Lynch during his seven years as general marketing manager of Porsche Cars North America Inc. When Porsche reassigned its account last month to the Cramer-Krasselt ad agency in Chicago, Mahoney says, "it seemed an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.
"I have a tremendous amount of experience with Carmichael Lynch through the Cayenne launch at Porsche," Mahoney says. "I really came to respect the work they can do."