But Ogilvy has no particular reason to feel neglected. Ford has been keeping the agency busy for 16 years building the Quality Care brand of the Ford Customer Service Division, which along with the Ford and Lincoln-Mercury divisions, reports directly to a Ford group VP, James O'Connor, whom Advertising Age named "Power Player" No. 3 among the heavy hitters of 2002 last October.
Ogilvy won its first Ford business in the U.K. in 1975, and many regarded the agency as the leading contender to pick up the Lincoln-Mercury business in the U.S. when it was dropped by Kenyon & Eckhardt in 1979.
But Ogilvy did not work for Ford in the U.S. until it won the parts and service business in July 1987, along with a vastly expanded Ford Division on the Continent. The European win covered nine countries and was valued at $100 million.
"The Quality Care brand covers Ford, Lincoln and Mercury dealers," says Jan Daniel Starr, exec VP-managing director of Ogilvy's Dearborn, Mich., office.
"We support it with a lot of television. It is a completely integrated campaign that includes television at what we call tier one, which is the national level. Then at tier two there are dealer group communications as well as individual dealer communications."
In January Ogilvy introduced a new service campaign with the theme, "Nobody knows your Ford, Lincoln or Mercury better than your Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealer." The agency calls it the "Nobody" campaign, but only internally, Mr. Starr emphasizes. A portion of the campaign runs on a co-op basis, with the rest Ford-funded.
Ford's Quality Care campaign from Ogilvy continues the retail focus that began in 1998. Before that, Quality Care was more of a brand campaign launched in the early 1990s, Mr. Starr says.
"The original phrase came out in the early '80s as a sort of service partner to 'Quality in Job 1,'" he adds. "But it wasn't advertised at the time. Quality Care was more an internal communications tool. I know we used it occasionally as a kind of tagline on some things we did, but it was not heavily promoted."
It is now, and another sizable element of the campaign is Customer Relationship Management or CRM, otherwise known as direct marketing.
It's handled by the agency and not Ogilvy One, which does not have a separate operation in Detroit. The agency shares responsibility for the direct marketing with another specialty shop, Newgen Results Corp., which has no connection with Ogilvy.
"We work in conjunction with Ford, Lincoln and Mercury in the U.S.," Mr. Starr says. "We're not in Canada or Mexico. Canada has used the Quality Care campaign, but in different ways.
"Of course, the biggest piece of business we have is the Ford brands and the service across both Eastern and Western Europe. That means Ford cars and commercial vehicles all over Europe as well as the parts and service business."