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"Global" is the word at both J. Walter Thompson Co. and client Ford Motor Co.

With Ford reorganizing its worldwide automotive operations around a global product plan, JWT is consolidating its international Ford business into a single "global business unit."

The consolidation affects 1,000 JWT staffers in 30 countries who handle an estimated $650 million in Ford corporate and dealer business.

"The idea of the global business unit is to provide Ford with total communications services .*.*. executed on a market by market basis," said Peter Schweitzer, JWT corporate president and worldwide head of the Ford account.

About 80 Ford account managers and creatives from around the world gathered in Detroit earlier this month to be briefed on the restructuring of both JWT and Ford.

Mr. Schweitzer said the agency is examining its structure with regard to servicing all its major multinational clients, but moved first on Ford because of the automaker's own changes.

Mr. Schweitzer said one goal is a more efficient two-way flow of information, with the headquarters unit providing more expertise and local account managers sharing information on particular market conditions.

Ford's transformation, dubbed Ford 2000 by Chairman Alex Trotman, includes the creation of five vehicle program centers in the U.S. and Europe to develop all future cars and trucks. That will provide economies of scale in product development and manufacturing.

At the same time, Ford needs more input from its marketers and agencies around the world to ensure that the new products will be relevant to customers, according to Dick Van House, executive director-worldwide marketing plans and strategy for Ford Automotive Operations.

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