Online Exclusive: Account Action

JAGUAR SELECTS EURO RSCG FOR GLOBAL AD ACCOUNT

Agency Beats out JWT in Last Round

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Jaguar Motor Cars Ltd. has chosen Havas' Euro RSCG to handle global ad duties for its luxury automobile brand, according to executives familiar with the matter.
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Other contenders in the review, which was narrowed to six earlier this month, included WPP Group's JWT and Berlin Cameron/Red Cell; MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners; and independents M&C Saatchi and Leagas Delaney. Incumbent Y&R, Irvine, Calif., part of WPP, did not progress to the shortlist.

Executives familiar with the matter said Bob Jeffrey, worldwide chairman-CEO of JWT, issued a memo to the agency this morning conceding that Euro RSCG won the review.

Calls to JWT, Euro and Jaguar were not returned at press time.

Closely watched review
Consultants Roth Associates, New York, and Agency Assessments International, London, conducted the closely watched review, which started in November.

The selection of a non-WPP-owned agency is noteworthy because the agency holding company has a long relationship with Jaguar's parent, the Ford Motor Co.

The carmaker has one of the world's best-known auto brands but it is unprofitable. In recent years, Jaguar has struggled to promote its X-Type, introduced in 2001 as an entry-level, high-end vehicle aimed at middle-aged car buyers. Last November, George Ayres, vice president of marketing at Jaguar North America, resigned and was replaced by Tom Scarpello, who had been marketing and sales manager of Ford Motor Co.'s special vehicle team.

Ford and WPP
Executives familiar with the review had said the search process within Jaguar was complicated by internal corporate politics, with some factions favoring hiring an agency not owned by WPP, which has a global agreement with Ford.

In December, Ford said Nicholas Scheele, 60, would retire Feb. 1 as president, leading to speculation of a change in WPP's standing as a preferred Ford global supplier. Mr. Scheele has championed the WPP status and is close to WPP's chief executive, Martin Sorrell.

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