Mazda Taps Wager as VP-Marketing

Exec Led Auto Accounts at Many Agencies Including Doner

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Mazda North American Operations today named longtime automotive advertising executive Russell Wager as VP-marketing. Mr. Wager once handled Mazda's U.S. account for ad agency Doner, Automotive News reports.

Wager will replace Don Romano, who resigned in July after 12 years with the automaker. Mr. Romano, who was also president of Mazda Canada, was the highest-profile executive to leave Mazda since it began restructuring its North American Operations in March.

Mr. Wager had been senior VP-managing director at DDB Advertising's Beijing office. Before that , he was at TBWA/Hakuhodo International in Tokyo. He also has led automotive accounts at several ad agencies, including Nissan's agency TBWA/Chiat/Day, David & Goliath in El Segundo, Calif., and Doner Advertising of suburban Detroit, directing the account he will now lead.

Under Mr. Romano's watch, the company tapped WPP Group of London to form Team Mazda, an agency to handle Mazda's U.S. advertising, ending Mazda's longtime relationship with Doner, which created the "Zoom-Zoom" tagline.

Mr. Wager will oversee U.S. marketing communications, including print and electronic advertising, social media, the Mazda U.S. website, auto shows and the relationship with the company's marketing communications agency, The Garage Team Mazda.

He will report to Robert Davis, senior VP, Mazda's U.S. operations group.

Through August of this year, Mazda sold 185,349 vehicles in the U.S., up 12% from the same period last year.

Ryan Beene contributed to this report

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