TOYOTA SELECTS MEXICAN AGENCY

Carisma Advertising of Mexico City Gets Account

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DETROIT (AdAge.com) -- Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico, the new unit of the carmaker formed in May, tapped its first agency of record to launch here.

The winner is Carisma Advertising, an alliance between Flores Kanchi Publicidad, Mexico City, and Ad Americas, a Hispanic specialist based in Los Angeles.

The agencies were among the nine contenders of all sizes, said Joe David, national manager of marketing overseeing the Mexican project at Toyota Motor Sales USA.

He declined to name other agencies or the other two finalists. Annual billings, Mr. David said, will be small but are expected to grow as Toyota gains brand recognition, he said.

The automaker will start selling the Camry in Mexico next April, followed by the Corolla in June. Toyota expects to sell 5,500 cars the first year.

"By choosing a Mexican agency, Toyota reaffirms its worldwide tradition of working and promoting the resources of the countries where it operates," said Jose Luis Sanchez Andion, general director of Toyota in Mexico.

Flores Kanchi, founded in 1994, has auto experience, having done work for General Motors Corp. and Ford Motor Co. in Mexico.

The agency has 21 employees and annual billings of some $6 million.

Ad Americas, with 33 employees, has annual billings of $35 million. Its clients include Toyota and McDonald's Corp.

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