CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Mazda said it is in talks with WPP to have a team of agencies from the holding company take over as the automaker's North American agency of record, replacing longtime incumbent Doner.
"We undertook an agency review as a process check, to ensure our company is properly positioned for substantial growth in North America. While each one of the agencies we interviewed had unique qualifications, WPP has the broadest set of assets that best fit Mazda's global needs," said Mazda's North American CEO, Jim O' Sullivan. "I'm extremely confident that WPP can take Mazda to the next level."
WPP already handles the Mazda brand in Europe. In addition to Doner, WPP beat out MDC's Crispin Porter & Bogusky and Omnicom Group's DDB for the business.
Mazda spent $152 million on measured media last year, according to Kantar Media.
"We have had a very successful relationship with Doner," Mazda's North American chief operating officer, Don Romano, said in a statement. "In fact, Doner helped create our global 'Zoom-Zoom' brand positioning a decade ago, which we have no plans to change. But as a result of our review, we felt that a new marketing communications partner would assist us in achieving our short- and long-term North American sales goals."
Independent Doner had been Mazda's North American agency of record since 1997. Executives there estimate that the account is worth 20% of the agency's revenue.