Chrysler to Review Its Digital Agency Business

Fiat Chrysler Owns Ram Truck, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat Brands

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Automotive giant Chrysler has begun a digital agency review, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chrysler in May 2010 named Sapient Corp.'s SapientNitro its digital agency of record, overseeing interactive duties for Chrysler, Dodge, Ram Truck and Jeep. The scope at the time included services such as interactive experiences, online advertising and site design and development, in addition to support for international websites, Chrysler corporate content and dealer initiatives.

Sapient was acquired by agency holding company Publicis Groupe earlier this month, creating a Publicis.Sapient network overseeing other Publicis digital agencies. The network will defend the business, according to people familiar with the matter.

Chrysler didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. Sapient declined to comment.

If Sapient is defending, it's doing so without Craig Daitch, who was VP of marketing and digital strategy overseeing the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles account until recently. He left the shop in December to join General Motors' Chevrolet.

London-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, or FCA, owns Ram Truck, Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep and Fiat brands. It took shape in January 2014 after Fiat S.p.A., the automaker based in Turin, Italy, acquired 100% ownership of Michigan-based Chrysler Group.

In regulatory filings, it said it spent $2.79 billion, or 3.86% of worldwide net revenue, on global advertising in 2013.

FCA U.S., also referred to as the Chrysler Group in the U.S., includes Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram. The company spent $1.97 billion on total U.S. advertising in 2013, according to the Ad Age DataCenter's last full year of available spending data.

Shortly after hiring Sapient, the company appointed independent shop Ignite to support social, but it has since moved the social business again, this time to Mediabrands Publishing, which is part of the Interpublic media agency network that houses Chrysler media agency UM.

In January 2010, Chrysler named independent Wieden & Kennedy as creative agency of record for the Dodge brand. Wieden later took on Chrysler brand work. Last year Wieden used Oculus Rift headsets for a virtual reality tour of the massive plant behind the 2015 Chrysler 200.

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