TOKYO -- Fiat has named Leo Burnett-Kyodo, Tokyo, as its agency of record in Japan. The agency will also handle media planning and buying for Alfa- Romeo. Leo Burnett-Kyodo prized the account from incumbent Asatsu, following an extensive creative presentation to local and Italian Fiat management. Burnett now works with Fiat in 17 markets in Europe, Asia and Latin America, with Leo Burnett, Milan as the lead agency.
"It is exciting for us to enter the automobile category and especially exciting to work with a client which intends to reinvent itself with aggressive plans for Japan," says Leo Burnett-Kyodo President Bill Smith. In 1995 the Fiat Group - including the Fiat, Lancia, Ferrari and Alfa Romeo models - sold a total of 4,087 cars in Japan, according to data compiled by Automotive News Europe. The Italian car maker's sales in Europe trailed behind other major European manufacturers. In the same period the BMW Group sold 59,607 cars, the Rover Group (now owned by BMW) 25,181, Mercedes 35,292 and the PSA Group (Peugeot & Citroen) 7,801.
Burnett's relationship with Fiat began in 1978 when Michael Conrad & Leo Burnett in Frankfurt won the account. In 1991, Fiat assigned its advertising to Burnett agencies in Milan, Budapest and Prague. A year later Fiat named Burnett and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles as the two agency networks to handle its pan-European business. Burnett also works with Fiat in Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and India.
Leo Burnett-Kyodo was established in 1976 as a joint venture between Leo Burnett and Kyodo Kokoku. Among the joint venture's clients are The Coca-Cola Co., Federal Express, The Financial Times, Goodyear Japan, Hennessy & Co., Jardine Wines & Spirits, Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, Meiji-McVitie's, Philip Morris, Pillsbury, Reebok and United Distillers. The agency had 1996 estimated billings of $297m.
Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.