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Marketing Exodus From Automaker Continues as Ad Budget Is Cut

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DETROIT ( -- The exodus from struggling Mitsubishi Motors North America continues following the resignation of the automaker’s advertising director, executives close to the situation said.

Kevin Mayer is the fifth marketing executive or manager from Mitsubishi to leave since Ian Beavis resigned in December as senior vice president of marketing, product development and public relations. At least three other non-marketing executives have left following the sudden resignation of C0-chairman-CEO Finbarr O’Neill January.

Ad budget cut
In recent weeks, Mitsubishi is said to have cut its annual national ad and marketing budget to roughly $150 million from $200 million. Included in the trimming was spending for the crucial June launch of the redone Eclipse.

Mr. Mayer was promoted last December to ad director from product marketing manager three months after joining the troubled automaker from Hyundai Motor America. He succeeded Diane Hong, who left after six months in the position.

BBDO handling Eclipse
The Eclipse launch is being handled by Omnicom Group’s BBDO Worldwide, Los Angeles, picked in March as the automaker’s new national and regional creative agency. The agency is expected to sign the contract soon.

A Mitsubishi spokesman declined comment.

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