After a global business review launched in April, Ford has selected Omnicom’s BBDO as its new lead creative agency.
The decision marks a significant blow for WPP, which has led advertising for the automaker since 1943 and regards it as its biggest global client.
Wieden+Kennedy also came out of the pitch with a wedge of the business. The independent agency network was hired for specially selected projects and as an innovation partner. It’ll run Ford out of its New York office.
WPP did retain some of the business, with its dedicated Ford agency GTB set to lead media planning and buying, digital and production, as well as Tier Two advertising work in the US, shopper and performance marketing, and website development.
"Ford already is one of the most recognised and respected brands in the world," said Joy Falotico, Ford group vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement. "In this pivotal moment of reinvention and transformation, we’re excited to partner with world-class creative agencies to unlock the full potential of the iconic Blue Oval."
“Today is a big big day,” said BBDO Worldwide president and CEO Andrew Robertson. “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.”
Neal Arthur, managing director of W+K New York, said: “Working together to help build the future of the Ford Motor Company is as big, as interesting and as exciting as it gets. They have the people, the brand and the vision to lead the industry and we’re humbled to be able to play a role at this moment in their history.”
BBDO will begin taking over the Ford business on November 1st. Fellow Omnicom digital agency Organic and TLGG Consulting will also play a part in handling the business.
Ford is also creating more than 100 new in-house marketing positions around the world. The brand estimates that its new approach will save $150 million annually.
WPP released an official statement acknowledging Ford’s new lead creative agency and noting the aspects of business that it will continue to work on.
“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.
“WPP agencies will continue to handle activation, including media planning and buying, digital and production. These responsibilities also include Tier Two advertising work in the U.S., the China advertising operations with its joint venture partner, all Lincoln advertising, and all the Ford public relations business.
“WPP will work closely with Ford on the shape of its future relationship and the impact on its people.”