Ford picks Y&R for pan-Euro Focus launch

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BRENTWOOD, ESSEX -- Ford Motor Co. has tapped Young & Rubicam for the pan-European launch of the Focus. Y&R, which beat fellow roster agency Ogilvy & Mather, will also handle media planning. Ford's media buying in Europe is with MindShare.

The Focus will replace the Ford Escort, which will be phased out over the next two years. It's expected to have a much bigger budget than the Escort, which was backed by $50 million to $80 million in Europe in 1997.

Ian Twinley, advertising manager for Ford of Europe, says the review process was drawn out because of the difficulty in finding a creative idea that could work across all European markets and run for a sustained period.

There's still work to be done on the creative, but a theme has been decided on, said Mr. Twinley. He said Y&R was chosen because of "a whole host of things" in which "idea generation and proposals, as well as the creative" were important. The decision was made late July 2.

The Focus makes its European debut September 28 at the Paris Show. A teaser campaign may precede the major ad burst which will launch at that time. The campaign will run across all major media.

Y&R now handles all Ford's advertising in Germany, plus the pan-European business for the Focus, the Puma, the Galaxy, the Cougar (the sports coupe that launches later this year) and the Lincoln, which makes its debut in the middle of 1999.

Ford began June 30 a six week program presenting the Focus launch to its 25,000 European dealers in 19 countries at a specially-constructed event in Berlin, organized via Imagination, London.

Mr. Twinley joined the ad review process just four weeks ago, when he moved to Europe from Detroit where he was brand strategy manager for Europe.

Copyright July 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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