Chrysler Taps Cutwater for Jeep Work

Undisclosed Assignment Major Win for Chuck McBride's New Shop

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Chrysler Group has tapped Omnicom Group's Cutwater to handle brand advertising for Jeep, according to a spokesman for DaimlerChrysler.
Brad Harrington and Chuck McBride have won Jeep work for their new agency, Cutwater
Brad Harrington and Chuck McBride have won Jeep work for their new agency, Cutwater

In February, Jeep's parent company invited a limited number of Omnicom shops to pitch for the project. Omnicom's BBDO, Detroit, is currently the agency of record on the account and was one of the two agencies named in the pitch. The shop, which remains the agency of record, retains account management and dealer work.

First win for McBride
The assignment marks the first official win since Chuck McBride and Brad Harrington opened Cutwater's doors last month. Mr. McBride had been the executive creative director-North America for TBWA/Chiat/Day, San Francisco. With Omnicom's backing, Mr. McBride and Mr. Harrington, Cutwater's president, effectively opened up a conflict shop consisting of TBWA San Francisco employees and clients to help keep major clients within the Omnicom family.

Upon starting the shop, Cutwater announced it would be pitching for Jeep and Motorola work.

Sales drop for Jeep
According to the automaker, Jeep has recently seen a 3% drop in sales from 2005 to 2006, and Jeep CEO Tom LaSorda has expressed displeasure with some of BBDO's recent work for the brand. Overall media spending for the Jeep brand in 2006 was $330 million, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

BBDO declined to comment. Calls to Cutwater were not returned by press time.

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Jean Halliday, Lisa Sanders contributed to this report.
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