Y&R wins key Jaguar account

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Y&R Advertising, New York, bested WPP Group siblings Ogilvy & Mather, New York and J. Walter Thompson in a review for the global launch of the upcoming Jaguar X-Type, execs close to the matter said. O&M, New York, handles Jaguar Cars North America's $75 million account; JWT has the account in Europe and many other markets.

The win, to be announced Friday, sparked speculation Y&R will get the entire $100-million Jaguar account worldwide. Leading the pitch for the new business was Executive Creative Director Ross Sutherland, who handled the Jaguar business at Ogilvy before leaving the agency last year for Y&R. The competing agencies were briefed on the assignment before Xmas and pitched the business early this week. Mr. Sutherland refused to confirm the pitch or the win. "I have a long history with Jaguar," he acknowledged. "I'd rather die than drive another car. I'd love to work on their business again. It looks as though I might be able to help them one way or another."

Simon Sproule, VP-public affairs for Jaguar Cars North America, said the marketer isn't commenting "on speculation like this."

The move comes after Ford recently shifted all Ford brand advertising in Europe to O&M, London. Y&R had handled several key Ford brands after winning them in a shootout with O&M in recent years. Y&R also recently won Ford's global Land Rover account--worth an estimated $75 million-after a review.

In 1997, JWT and O&M formed a joint venture headed by Kevin King to provide global integrated marketing to Jaguar. The venture oversees and coordinates the work of both Jaguar agencies. According to an executive familiar with the arrangement, the two Jaguar markets, North America and Europe, have been highly competitive. North America boasts higher sales while the U.K. proudly stakes the claim of being the home of the brand. According to the executive, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP, created the independent Jaguar group to keep the two sides from feuding.

--Jean Halliday and Richard Linnett

Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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