Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and ad agency Wieden & Kennedy are parting ways after a six-year run that included some of the most notable work in the automotive category, such as the iconic "Imported From Detroit" ads.
W&K had worked on brands across the FCA portfolio -- including Jeep and Maserati -- but was considered the agency-of-record for Chrysler and Dodge. The agency and automaker confirmed their breakup in a joint statement.
"Making your mark in the automotive category isn't easy. But we're damn proud of the one we made with FCA. We're even more proud of the company's turnaround. Parting ways is always hard, but sometimes it's just the right call. We wish FCA all the best," said Tom Blessington, managing director for Wieden & Kennedy, Portland.
Olivier Francois, chief marketing officer for FCA Global, said the time is right for the move.
"Since 2010, W&K and FCA have collaborated on memorable campaigns for many FCA brands," Francois said in a statement. "It has been a great partnership and as these things do go, it is now the right time for both the agency and FCA to seek other pursuits."
Asked about what is next for Chrysler and Dodge, an FCA spokeswoman said in an email that "FCA and W&K are still working together to wrap things up, to wind down the relationship. At this point in time, we have no announcements to make about a new (agency of record)."
The move frees W&K to eventually pursue competing auto brands and it could emerge as a sought-after shop in the category.
FCA also confirmed that it is naming FCB, Chicago, the official agency of record for its Fiat brand in North America, replacing The Richards Group, which remains the agency of record for the Ram brand.
The split with W&K ends an era that led to several breakthrough campaigns. The list of standouts includes the Emmy-winning Super Bowl ad "Born of Fire" for Chrysler, which introduced the "Imported from Detroit" tagline. That was followed up with the 2012 Super Bowl ad "Halftime in America" starring Clint Eastwood.