Online Exclusive: Account Action

DEUTSCH DROPS OUT OF MITSUBISHI AD REVIEW

Unexpectedly Abandons Chase of $200 Million Account

By Published on .

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles, the incumbent on Mitsubishi Motors North America's $200 million creative and integrated marketing account, unexpectedly dropped out of the carmaker's agency review late yesterday, a spokeswoman at the automaker said.

Mike Sheldon, managing partner and general manager of Deutsch, today told AdAge.com that withdrawing from the review was a financial consideration. "We looked at the long-term viability of the financial situation for the agency and it just didn't make sense to move forward."

Mitsubishi is trimming its national and regional dealer group ad budget by roughly $100 million to just more than $200 million, according to the agency request for proposals, of which AdAge.com obtained a copy.

Earlier agency cut
Hours earlier yesterday, the automaker had announced that Deutsch was among five finalists for its account, and that it cut independent agency Cramer-Krasselt, Chicago, from its review.

Chuck Barber, a Mitsubishi dealer from Orem, Utah, and chairman of the brand's dealer council, said he's disappointed the incumbent isn't defending the account. Mr. Barber, who is on the review panel, said Deutsch "has as much ability to compete as the other agencies" remaining as finalists.

After Mitsubishi had called its review Dec. 6, Deutsch said it had been approached by two other car brands. The agency had declined to identify those marketers. Mr. Sheldon today didn't elaborate and declined to discuss any talks the agency might be having with other carmakers.

Most Popular