Hyundai Splits With Hispanic Shop Del Rivero Messianu DDB

Will Open Review for $30 Million Account

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Hyundai Motor America has terminated its contract with its U.S. Hispanic agency, Del Rivero Messianu DDB, Coral Gables, Fla., and will soon begin a search for a successor, according to executives close to the matter.
In addition to opening a Hispanic review, the automaker is also seeking an agency for its general-market account.
In addition to opening a Hispanic review, the automaker is also seeking an agency for its general-market account.

Del Rivero won the estimated $30 million account in February 2006 after a four-month review.

A Hyundai spokesman declined comment and newly hired VP-Marketing Joel Ewanick was unavailable. Neither Eduardo Del Rivero, president of the agency, nor Luis Miguel Messianu, its chief creative officer, were available for comment.

The automaker has just started a review for its general-market creative account after announcing late last month it was ending its relationship with Richards Group, Dallas. Hyundai said all the agencies have already been invited and that process ahs started.

Hyundai reported its best-ever February for U.S. vehicle sales last week with 34,500 units sold, just 486 units north of the 34,014 vehicles it sold in February 2006. In the first two months of 2007, the automaker said it sold 62,221 new vehicles or 2,001 fewer than the same year-ago period.

In last year's review, the incumbent, Omnicom Group's Dieste Harmel & Partners, Dallas, declined to re-pitch. There was a final shootout for Hyundai's Hispanic account between Del Rivero Messianu DDB and Lopez Negrete Communications, a Houston-based independent Hispanic agency that recently survived the lengthy Wal-Mart Stores review and continues as the retailer's Hispanic agency of record.
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