Chrysler Taps Interpublic's Universal McCann, Meredith Too
Beleaguered automaker Chrysler Group named Interpublic's Universal McCann unit as its new agency of record for media planning and buying for the Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram brands in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The appointment is effective immediately.
The announcement comes as the contract with the company's current media buying agency, PHD, ends in January 2010. The two agencies will work over the next two months to ensure a smooth transition, the company said.
UM will handle media buying and planning primarily out of its Detroit offices, with support from New York and San Francisco.
The account covers both traditional and digital media planning and buying, as well as supporting Chrysler's retail marketing initiatives.
"As a new company with a brand-driven focus, we are looking for agencies that can deliver unique ideas and solutions to help us better communicate with consumers," Olivier Francois, president and CEO, Chrysler Brand and head of marketing, Chrysler Group, stated. "These changes will allow Chrysler greater efficiencies and flexibility in the use of its media across all four brands and at the retail level."
In a related but surprising move, Chrysler also named the subsidiary of a media supplier -- Meredith's Meredith Integrated Marketing unit -- to handle its CRM media and marketing account in the U.S. and Canada. Chrysler said the assignment comes in addition to an existing relationship it has with Meredith for custom publishing.