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(June 29, 2001) -- Michelin North America awarded its $35 million domestic branding account to Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., after an extensive agency review.

Campbell-Ewald bested sibling shops Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, and Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., in the review, which was handled by consultant Jones Lundin Beals, Chicago. The agency was chosen for its strategic and integrated capabilities.

"We're excited about the possibilities our new partnership with Campbell-Ewald will afford the Michelin brand," said Pete Selleck, chief operating officer of Michelin Americas Small Tires.

"It's just fantastic," said an elated Tony Hopp, chairman-CEO of Campbell-Ewald, which will take over the account immediately. "This is going to be so thrilling because of the power of that brand. This is about their brand, and the brand's potential and opportunities for the long haul."

While Mr. Hopp wouldn't discuss next steps or a schedule, he said the agency team held a two-hour strategy meeting immediately after being informed of the win. "Things are going to begin unfolding very quickly," he said.

Leading the team will be Jim Palmer, co-president, and Mark Bellissimo, executive vice president and account director; Chief Creative Officer Bill Ludwig and Mark Simon, executive vice president and creative director, will lead the creative team. Rounding out the team will be Bob Gervason, executive vice president-media communications and Deborah Hausler, senior vice president-media communications will head the media team.

Specific scope of the assignment is still being decided, but the agency will handle media planning and buying, with some support from sibling Initiative Media for spot broadcast and out-of-home efforts.

Michelin, the U.S. unit of No. 2 French tire maker Groupe Michelin, ended its 17-year relationship with Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide, New York, in February and is facing a variety of business and marketing challenges.

This spring, Michelin inked an agreement with Ford Motor Co. to supply tires for its vast replacement program following Ford's recall of 13 million Firestone-branded tires of Bridgeston/Firestone.

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