Daihatsu Vehicles has confirmed that it is in the initial stages of
holding a review of its multimillion-pound UK creative account.
The company is looking to build awareness of a recent overhaul of its
model range and has confirmed an advertising budget of pounds 4 million.
The pitch will be run by Daihatsu Vehicles' marketing director, Paul
Tunnicliffe, and the managing director, Andrew Edmiston.
A Daihatsu spokesman said that the incumbent agency, Wallis Tomlinson,
will not repitch for the account but will continue to work for
Daihatsu's sister brands Suburu and Izuzu.
The spokesman added: "We have been busy realigning the model range.
We've just brought out the YRV, our first model designed specifically
for the European market. This is the way forward for Daihatsu. We are
looking for a new approach for our advertising and marketing. Whatever
happens we won't make a decision until next year. It's in its very early
International Motors, which also handles distribution for the car
marques Suburu and Izuzu, acquired Daihatsu's distribution rights last
March from rival distributor Inchcape. It handles UK marketing for
Daihatsu. An International Motors spokesman would not commit on whether
the review would impact on the media account which is held by Feather
Banks Hoggins O'Shea/ FCB was forced to resign the Daihatsu account in
September 1999 after the holding company True North merged the FCB and
the Bozell networks. The merger produced a clash between the Daihatsu
business at Banks Hoggins and the DaimlerChrysler business at Bozell.
FCB lost DaimlerChrysler to BBDO in September 2000.
In April the Advertising Standards Authority asked Daihatsu to change
its approach to advertising after upholding a complaint against a
national press ad. The ad for the Daihatsu Sirion, by Wallis Tomlinson,
used the headline "Quick enough to see off a 1.6 litre VW Polo Gti" and
featured a picture of the car in motion, with the background blurred.
The ASA felt the headline encouraged anti-social driving, and asked
Daihatsu to change this theme for future ads.
Daihatsu has not decided on the media mix for future campaigns. Before
resigning the account, Banks Hoggins also produced a range of press ads
for Daihatsu. Creative compared Daihatsu vehicles with luxury cars by
using lines such as "picks up five times more women than a Lamborghini"
for its Hijet people carrier.
Daihatsu is 51 per cent owned by Toyota and posted a 28.7 per cent
increase in a net profit of pounds 91 million.