MAZDA EXEC PROMISES OPEN ACCOUNT REVIEW: BEATTIE SAYS FORD SHOPS NOT GETTING PREFERENCE

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Mazda North American Operations' president said he will launch a "no holds barred" agency search for Mazda Motor of America's $240 million account.

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.

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