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Ford Account Could Leave Motor City

  • Ad Age , Monday, November 5, 2007 12:02 PM
After PHD said it will move hundreds of millions of dollars worth of Chrysler's national TV-buying dollars to New York from Detroit, Jean Halliday writes that the reeling Motor City could be on the verge of losing another big account. Ford is the only one of the Big Three to buy all its media out of the market, and with former Toyota Motor Sales USA executive Jim Farley about to join the company as vice president-global marketing and communications, there is speculation it may leave town too--although a Ford spokesman said its doesn't expect to change the way it buys media.

But Phil Cowdell, CEO of WPP Group's Ford Media Services in Dearborn, is already working on how the shop will handle any inquiries from the company, and says he is preparing a report on the benefits of Ford still buying media from suburban Detroit. "It's a chance for me to explain why Ford gets the best of both worlds," says Cowdell. He notes that WPP's Ford agencies are working closer together--meaning more integration on planning, buying, digital, creative and analytics. "We don't have to sit in New York to do that," he says, adding that his clients are a mere 200 yards away. "We are getting planning and buying much closer, so it doesn't make sense to rip that apart and have your buyers 600 miles away."



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