JAGUAR LAUNCHES REVIEW OF GLOBAL AD ACCOUNTS

Y&R Has Had Work Since 2001; Current 'Deadly Sins' Ads Draw Criticism

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Jaguar Cars Ltd. is launching a review for its global advertising and direct marketing accounts, according to a North American spokesman and an internal company document.

Jaguar Cars is owned by the Ford Motor Co. and makes and markets the luxury cars.

Current ads use the qualities of the 'seven deadly sins' to portray the vehicle. The title of this one is 'Lust.'

WPP Group's Y&R of London is currently the lead office for the global creative business. The agency's Irvine, Calif., office handles U.S. responsibilities.

Direct marketing is handled by Wunderman. Media buying is handled by Mediaedge:cia in North America and MindShare elsewhere. Media buying is not part of the review.

World HQ decision
The spokesman said the decision was made at Jaguar's world headquarters in the U.K., and a final calls on a new agencies is expected by the end of March 2005.

An executive close to the matter confirmed that David Murphy, CEO of Y&R, Irvine, sent a memo to staff earlier this week saying Jaguar's global advertising account will be in play.

Mr. Murphy told AdAge.com last night he was on a conference call and declined to discuss the review.

Mike O'Driscoll, president of Jaguar Cars North America, was in Florida at a "big meeting" and unavailable for comment, his secretary said.

2001 account move
Y&R won the global account in early 2001 without a review, succeeding WPP siblings Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson, which had formed a joint venture, Global Communications Group, especially for Jaguar. Y&R will be invited to pitch, the Jaguar spokesman said.

In the U.S., Jaguar spent $84 million in measured media in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR; from January to July 2004, it spent $49 million.

Jaguar is unprofitable and has struggled to promote its XJ-Type, introduced in 2001, as a high-end vehicle aimed at 30-somethings. Critics have panned the car's construction, saying Ford borrowed too many parts systems from other brands. Some observers criticized Y&R's latest Jaguar advertising -- for the 2005 XJ high-end luxury model -- for not showing enough of the car while saying how its detailing provokes one of the "seven deadly sins."

VP reassigned
The spokesman also said that George Ayres, vice president of marketing of Jaguar in North America, was reassigned, effective this week, to sales and marketing in Ford's performance division.

Ford Motor is WPP's largest client globally and the holding company has a global agreement with the automaker. It's unclear whether only other WPP agencies would be invited to pitch. Y&R handles Ford's Lincoln and Mercury brands in the U.S. and Land Rover globally, as well as other Ford business in Asia and Europe.