Leo Burnett Picks Up Firestone Creative

CMO Philip Dobbs Says Company Plans to 'Invest More' in Tire Brand

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Leo Burnett has picked up the creative account for Firestone after a review.

The Publicis Groupe agency succeeds independent shop Richards Group on the business. Richards has handled creative for parent company Bridgestone Corp. since 2006, including a long-running Super Bowl halftime sponsorship. Richards Group will retain the Bridgestone brand work.

Firestone's review was led by Boston-based consultancy Pile & Co. The scope of the work is expected to include creative for Firestone's retail operation, as well as its Complete Auto Care business. Publicis Groupe 's Razorfish and Levelwing both handle digital work.

The shift comes after the company in November handed Optimedia its media-buying and -planning account.

"This is an exciting time for our company as we look to invest more in our Firestone tire brand," said CMO Philip Dobbs, in a statement. "We're also excited to have an agency focused on our retail brand -- 2,200 stores strong -- and bringing fresh thinking to our business and ultimately even deeper meaning to our brand."

Rich Stoddart, president at Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA, said that executives at Firestone "believe in this brand." He added that he's confident that "they're going to invest, and they're going to bring this brand into a place of real relevance in the consumer's mind."

The Firestone win is the latest account addition for Leo Burnett, following Avis, Nintendo's Wii U console, Chobani, Fifth Third Bancorp, Esurance, Dewar's and MillerCoors' Fosters, Molson and Sparks brands.

Bridgestone spent nearly $118 million on measured media in the U.S. last year on Firestone and Bridgestone, according to Kantar. Much of the company's budget has been dedicated to Super Bowl buys, and the sponsorship deal with the NFL will be in effect through the 2014-15 season.