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Mitsubishi Awards $200 Million Account To BBDO

Assignment Includes National and Regional Creative

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Mitsubishi Motors North America today said it awarded its $200 million national and regional creative account to Omnicom Group's BBDO Worldwide.
BBDO wins the Mitsubishi account.
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In addition to BBDO, finalists for the automaker's account were Interpublic Group of Cos.' TM advertising, Dallas; and two Publicis Groupe shops, Publicis West, Seattle, and Publicis and Hal Riney, San Francisco.

Account duties
A Mitsubishi spokesman said BBDO's duties will include creative, direct, online and collateral (brochures and point-of-purchase materials). Omnicom sibling PHD, which already handles media buying, will take on media planning, previously done by the account's incumbent, Interpublic's Deutsch.

The automaker began negotiations with BBDO more than a week ago. The two parties, however, could not come to terms and Mitsubishi widened the compensation discussions to include TM.

A Mitsubishi spokeswoman declined to discuss the issue last week. She had said the company wanted "to take more time to review our options," which explained why Mitsubishi didn't meet its planned March 1 deadline to announce a winner.

The account will be run out of BBDO's Los Angeles office, with other offices to be called upon to work on the business.

Ad spending cut
Mitsubishi's annual ad spending had been around $300 million, but the marketer dropped its 2005 budget to $200 million, according to the request for proposals.

The automaker has seen an exodus of top executives in recent months, including former President-CEO Finbarr O'Neill and Ian Beavis, senior vice president of marketing and product planning. David Schembri joined Mitsubishi Feb. 14 in the new post of executive vice president of sales and marketing from Mercedes-Benz USA.

Select Resources International, Santa Monica, was the consultant on the review.

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