Subaru Drops DDB, Taps Carmichael Lynch for $150M Account

Automaker's CMO Said to Want to Work With Former Porsche Shop

By Published on . 3

DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Subaru of America will move its estimated $150 million creative and media account to Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, without a review, according to an insider at the automaker. The carmaker told its incumbent creative shop of three years, Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York, that it was terminating the agency during a luncheon today in Manhattan, the insider said. Sibling Prometheus, also New York, will also be out as Subaru's media buyer.
This summer Subaru for the first time used work from its gay and lesbian shop, Moon City Productions, New York, instead of DDB for the general-market WRX campaign.
This summer Subaru for the first time used work from its gay and lesbian shop, Moon City Productions, New York, instead of DDB for the general-market WRX campaign.

John Colasanti, president of Carmichael Lynch, declined to comment.

CMO Mahoney
DDB won the Subaru account after a review in 2004. But Tim Mahoney returned to Subaru in May 2006 in the new post of senior VP-CMO after a seven-year stint as general marketing manager of Porsche Cars North America. At Porsche, Mr. Mahoney worked with Carmichael Lynch, and wanted to work the shop again, the Subaru insider said.

Mr. Mahoney could not be reached for comment.

Subaru downplayed reports of friction with DDB early in the relationship. Speculation that the agency was in trouble bubbled up again this summer when Subaru for the first time used work from its gay and lesbian shop, Moon City Productions, New York, for the general-market WRX campaign.

Winding down on Porsche
Carmichael Lynch is winding down its work on the $40 million Porsche account, which it won in 1999, but was unable to successfully defend in a review earlier this year.

Lee Garfinkel, president of DDB Worldwide, and DDB's Joe Cronin, group account director on the Subaru account were unavailable for comment.

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