Editor's Note

Published on .

In April, WPP Group said it was combining its J. Walter Thompson Brand Entertainment Group with Hill & Knowlton unit, Showcase, and rebranding it as Amplify to better service the branded entertainment initiatives of linchpin client Ford Motor Co.

Now a scant two months later, the automaker has decided to take its strategic entertainment brainpower in-house, tapping a Hollywood producer—who happens to be a member of the Ford clan—to be the company's "face" in Tinseltown.

This about-face has rendered the nascent Amplify, in effect, stillborn. The unit's leader Rob Donnell, who's worked at JWT for 17 years, is now out of a job.

And as Madison Avenue holding companies fight to reinvent themselves in the minds of their clients and beat back interlopers from Wilshire Boulevard and points in between, Ford's decision has created a jump-ball situation, in effect. Ford execs like Mark Kaline and Miles Romero will have their phones ringing off the hook in the coming months.

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