NEW YORK -- Chrysler is prepping to name SapientNitro its digital agency of record for all automotive brands, replacing Omnicom Group's Organic, executives familiar with the matter told Advertising Age on Thursday.
The shift to the independent network represents the latest chunk of Chrysler business to leave Omnicom after a series of creative and media agency reviews the car maker initiated last summer following its alignment with Italy's Fiat.
The last round of the interactive review was said to be a three-way shootout between Organic, Meredith Corp.'s Genex and SapientNitro, according to the report from Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News.
A SapientNitro executive confirmed the win, while spokeswomen for Chrysler and Organic declined comment on the shift.
Executives familiar with the matter estimate the account -- which gives SapientNitro responsibility for digital duties globally across the Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Chrysler brands -- is worth nearly $30 million in billings. It caps a nice new-business run for the network that was formed last year out of the merger of traditional agency network Nitro Group and Sapient.
Among other things, SapientNitro was recently named to Unilever's global digital roster and tapped as lead agency for Target's coming e-commerce platform.
Last week, Chrysler Group named Meredith Corp.'s New Media Strategies agency its new social-media marketing agency of record. That move furthered the expansion by Meredith, a company perhaps best known for publishing magazines such as Family Circle and Better Homes & Gardens, into agency services.
Social media duties, along with its customer relationship management business, expand on an existing relationship between Chrysler and Meredith, which began with custom publishing services. Meredith acquired Los Angeles-based Genex in 2007. Chrysler handed Meredith Integrated Marketing CRM from Omnicom's BBDO Detroit, which has since shuttered.
Chrysler in recent months has totally overhauled its agency roster. The automaker is also working with Richards Group, Dallas, for Ram creative; GlobalHue, Southfield, Mich., for Jeep; and Fallon, Minneapolis, for the Chrysler vehicle brand.
Nat Ives contributed to this report.