Ford taps brand managers in move to new structure

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Ford Motor Co. completed its move to brand management, naming brand managers for the Ford division in the U.S. and for its various overseas units. The Lincoln-Mercury division in the U.S. had begun the process last July by naming brand managers who will oversee marketing and other activities in order to create strong identities for each nameplate.

Ford division's new brand managers are Randy Stewart for youthful vehicles (Aspire, Escort, Contour and Ranger), from truck ad manager; J.C. Collins for family vehicles (Taurus, Crown Victoria, Windstar and Aerostar), from executive assistant/dealer relations manager; Judy Pohlod for sporting cars (Mustang, Probe, Thunderbird), from car ad manager; Bob Girard for expressive vehicles (Bronco, Explorer and Expedition), from market area manager; and Paul Morel for tough vehicles (F-Series, Econoline and Club Wagon), from marketing plans manager.

Under the revamp, Advertising Manager Gerry Donnelly takes the newly created position of marketing communications manager. He will continue to manage the relationship with agency J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit while adding oversight of promotional activities and coordinating ad plans with the new brand managers.

Separately, the redesigned 1997 Ford F-150 full-size pickup gets its ad sendoff on New Year's Day with a 30-second spot airing on football bowl games. The commercial from J. Walter Thompson USA, Detroit, will show the substantially restyled truck using a ramp to jump over 18 earlier Ford models, symbolizing that the F-Series has been the sales leader among trucks for 18 straight years.

Ford, which will also bring out new creative for the 1997 truck on the Super Bowl, will sell the vehicle alongside 1996 models through August in an unusual marketing move allowing the company to phase in production at four assembly plants.

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