SUBARU NAMES CONSULTANT FOR AGENCY SEARCH

AAR to Handle Review for $150 Million Account

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Subaru of America today named AAR Partners, New York, as the consultant for its upcoming agency review.

Incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.'

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TM Advertising in Dallas (formerly Temerlin McClain), the incumbent creative and media planning agency, will defend the account, worth $150 million.

A spokeswoman for Subaru, which saw U.S. sales rise 4% last year but posted a North American operating loss of $28 million due to incentives, earlier this month told Advertising Age magazine that the search was a "strategic move" as the automaker aspires to become a "global player as a premium brand."

The latest Subaru TV advertising from Temerlin McClain, with Tour de France cycling champ Lance Armstrong, recently hit the airwaves. Mr. Armstrong was supposed to have a larger role in the campaign, but consumers didn't clearly link the bike champion to Subaru, executives close to the marketer said, because he appears in ads for several other brands. The Subaru spokeswoman said the carmaker plans to continue its relationship with Mr. Armstrong.

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