Mazda names JWT lead agency for Europe

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LONDON -- Mazda Motor Corp. has appointed J. Walter Thompson, one of parent Ford Motor Co.'s worldwide agencies, as its lead agency for Europe. JWT also picks up Mazda's $36m German account, about half of Mazda's European ad spending, and most other European distributors are likely to eventually move from their local agencies to JWT. Local shop Rempen & Partner loses the business in Germany, Mazda's biggest European market.

Earlier this year Mazda chopped its roster for Japan from four agencies to Hakuhodo alone, after Ford took effective control of Mazda with a 33.4% ownership stake.

Brussels-based Mazda Motor Europe says its "goal is to create a single and unified brand image throughout Europe. Mazda will promote a consistent marketing communications campaign across European countries, starting next spring in collaboration with JWT.'' Mazda has a 1.4% share of Western Europe's car market.

Gerd Leinbach, a German now working in Detroit on JWT's Ford team with responsibility for Ford's export markets in Eastern Europe, Africa and South America, will return to his native country to set up a small Frankfurt-based European Mazda team, says Michael Madel, president of JWT Europe.

Although other agencies are believed to have been considered, JWT did not formally pitch for the business, Madel says. Mazda asked JWT to study the feasibility of harmonizing the Japanese car marketer's European marketing communications. Not surprisingly, JWT concluded that it was a good idea.

Copyright October 1996, Crain Communications Inc.

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