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Ford names Omnicom's BBDO as lead creative agency in blow to WPP


By Bennett Bennett, Staff writer

October 8, 2018 | 3 min read

Ford has selected Omnicom's BBDO as its lead creative agency in a blow to WPP, which was confident of defending the review.

ford wpp review gtb

BBDO has been selected as creative lead for Ford Motors, the agency's first major win in almost two years. / Flickr: Classic Film

The carmaker has also brought in Wieden+Kennedy for innovation, following its work with the company earlier this year. The agency had worked on its most recent US marketing campaign in what was considered an early sign that Ford was looking to shake-up its creative output.

Ford has also committed to 100 in-house marketing jobs as part of its new agency model.

The refreshed set-up follows a review that kicked off in April. WPP had previously held the entire Ford business in a multi-agency effort named 'Global Team Blue'.

Though it has lost its role as lead agency it has retained what the auto manufacturer called a "key part" of this new chapter in its marketing set-up. It continues to manage Ford's media planning, buying, shopper and performance marketing, as well as website development, customer relationship marketing, multicultural and tier two dealer advertising.

WPP's Hudson Rouge also retains its responsibilities over Ford's Lincoln line of vehicles.

However, BBDO will take over as lead creative from 1 November.

The 100 jobs earmarked for its in-house global marketing workforce will be tied to brand design, media tools, technologies and partnerships, as well as digital labs and customer experience.

The company also has put an emphasis on emerging tools and technologies to personalize marketing communications and offers to in-market buyers, plus even greater use of digital platforms.

Joy Falotico, Ford group vice president and chief marketing officer described the changes as a "pivotal moment of reinvention and transformation" for the group.

"We’re excited to partner with world-class creative agencies to unlock the full potential of the iconic Blue Oval," she said.

BBDO’s president and chief executive, Andrew Robertson, said: “Today is a big, big day. We have a wonderful new brand to help build. I could not be more proud of the hundreds of people around the world who made this happen, or more grateful to Ford for their confidence in us."

A statement from WPP added: "Over the past five months, WPP has been working with Ford Motor Company on its future marketing and advertising relationships. At the conclusion of the review, WPP will be responsible for activating the Ford brand through key channels and regions, through its global Ford agency GTB as well as other WPP agencies, while Ford has appointed another agency as its lead creative agency."

It added: "WPP will work closely with Ford on the shape of its future relationship and the impact on its people."

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