Ford selects Dentsu in Japan

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TOKYO -- Ford Motor Co., which earlier this summer did a massive shake up of agency assignments in Europe and only this week went with the status quo in Latin America, has selected Dentsu as its primary advertising agency in Japan. The decision to go with Dentsu was quietly made in July after a competition among five advertising firms.

"Dentsu had the most innovative and aggressive ideas," said Hiroo Tanabe, Ford's external affairs director in Japan.

Ford had previously been using Dentsu, J. Walter Thompson Co. and Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide.

The automaker's campaign with Dentsu as the primary advertising agency will start later this year, possibly in the fall. Although Ford selected Dentsu in Japan, it will still keep business relations with the other two firms for its advertising in Japan.

Ford is planning to slightly increase its print and TV ads in Japan as part of the new campaign, Mr. Tanabe says.

Earlier this week, after a three month review of its $120 million advertising account in Latin America, Ford decided not to combined the account on a regional basis.

That pitch pitted J. Walter Thompson Co., which has handled the $20 million account in Argentina for 54 years, against Young & Rubicam, which has held the $89 million account in Brazil since 1996.

JWT works with Ford in Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Uruguay and Venezuela. Ford works with Y&R in Mexico and Columbia.

Earlier this summer, Ford realigned its assignments across Europe on a model-by- model basis and moved an estimated $230 million from Ogilvy & Mather Europe, London, to Young & Rubicam Europe, London. Ford said the decision was driven by the success of recent Europe-wide advertising for cars such as the Ford Puma, run via Y&R.

This followed immediately Y&R's win of the $100 million-plus launch of the Ford Focus in Europe, announced at the beginning of July, for which it competed with fellow roster agency O&M.

From January 1, 1999, Y&R will take on as additional pan-European business the Fiesta, Ka, Explorer and Windstar brands, along with Ford corporate advertising. Previously, Y&R handled those brands in Germany only.

O&M will retain across Europe the Mondeo account and the Escort business - until that model is phased out over 18 months - plus Ford's commercial vehicle range and its dealer advertising associations, thought to be worth a substantial sum. Y&R loses all that business in Germany.

Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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