FORD'S DIRECT, INTERACTIVE WORK GOES TO OGILVYONE: CARMAKER MOVES MORE SPENDING TO UNIT OF ITS CORPORATE AD AGENCY

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Continuing its practice of pooling assignments at key agencies, Ford Motor Co. handed specialty marketing work to corporate agency Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

Agency executives said Ford gave direct and interactive marketing to OgilvyOne Worldwide, O&M's direct unit; spending wasn't disclosed.

OgilvyOne becomes the first agency of record for Ford corporate direct-marketing work. The account will include direct mail and direct-response efforts, said J.G. Sandom, senior partner-director of interactive at OgilvyOne, New York.

As part of those efforts, OgilvyOne is expected to launch soon a mail effort aimed at Ford owners, said executives close to the account.

SOFTAD HAD INTERACTIVE

On interactive, SoftAd Group, Mill Valley, Calif., developed Ford's original corporate Web site several years ago and also had handled creative, said an executive close to Ford.

OgilvyOne has begun an ongoing upgrade of the corporate Web site (www.ford.com), said George Pace, associate director of interactive, who handles the Ford account.

The upgrade is meant to make the site easier to navigate and update. More enhancements are on the way, Mr. Pace said, including online shopping, personalized displays and an improved area for Ford owners.

Ford Motor Co. relaunched the Web site of its Ford Division (www.fordvehicles.com) on Oct. 1, after an overhaul by division ad agency J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit. The rebuilt site added improved features, including streaming audio and video, and online purchase capabilities.

SITE CELEBRATES MUSTANG

The site also includes a section celebrating the Ford Mustang's 35th birthday, with an online-only sweepstakes and capabilities to print out an image of the car that can be tabbed together into a 3-D model.

Ford awarded New York-based O&M its $35 million corporate account in 1996, moving the business without a review from now-defunct Wells BDDP.

O&M also handles Ford's Jaguar unit, and OgilvyOne handles that marque's interactive account.

Ford executives were not available for comment, but they have said in the past that, while the carmaker is not lining up accounts by brand divisions, it's giving added work to its key shops-O&M, JWT and Young & Rubicam.

Last July, Ford moved five European accounts from Ogilvy Europe, London, to Y&R Europe. Y&R, which previously had the accounts only in Germany, won more than $230 million in spending for the Explorer, Fiesta, Focus, Ka and Windstar models.

Contributing: Carol Krol

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