DaimlerChrysler Corp., Auburn Hills, Mich., has put on a fast track the global review of its $1 billion-plus consolidation of creative and media work for the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. The automaker wants to hear pitches by Oct. 6. That was the word Sept. 7 from David Bell, chairman-CEO of True North Communications, Chicago. True North's FCB Worldwide handles the Chrysler and Jeep brands globally, plus media buying and planning outside North America and Germany in a joint venture with CIA Medianetwork. Mr. Bell said the account is True North's largest. DaimlerChrysler is also the top client of competing agency BBDO
Worldwide, which handles Dodge globally and media buying and planning in the U.S. BBDO said Sept. 7 it has an advantage since the client isn't reviewing the marketing services work handled by its InterOne Marketing Group. BBDO said about half its DaimlerChrysler billings come from InterOne. In announcing the review late Sept. 6, DaimlerChrysler cited costs as the reason. The winner could see gross profits from the account drop despite the extra business, but the client has promised the winner a guaranteed profit margin percentage, said Kevin Smith, True North exec VP-chief financial officer. He also said True North's 2000 revenue from DaimlerChrysler's global account would tally some $140 million, or about 9% of the agency company's consolidated revenues. True North shares fell 17.19% to 36-7/16 on Sept. 7 following news of the review.
Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.