President-CEO Richard Beattie vowed not to simply hand the business over to a shop on the roster of Ford Motor Co., which controls Mazda with a 33.4% stake.
O&M THE FAVORITE
Car agency watchers still believe Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide is the agency to beat (AA, Aug. 4).
But Mr. Beattie said he is "interested in seeing what's new out there."
Mr. Beattie vowed to relegate deal-of-the-week ads to the dealer level, while relying on national and regional advertising in 1998 "to communicate the Mazda brand."
TRUE NORTH FALLOUT
Mazda went into play after Foote, Cone & Belding, Santa Ana, Calif., and San Francisco, resigned to clear parent True North Communications' acquisition of Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckerdt. Bozell Worldwide client Chrysler Corp. objected to a linkup with an agency doing business involving Ford.
Mazda has been talking to three agency review consultants, said one executive close to the situation. The car company has quietly developed a long list of 10 agencies, another executive said.
Mr. Rechtin is a reporter for Automotive News. Contributing: Alice Z. Cuneo, Bradley Johnson, Laura Petrecca.