NEWS: JWT eyes up big prize in Mazda Euro rethink

J. Walter Thompson Europe has won a project from Mazda which could lead to the WPP-owned network landing the Japanese car giant’s entire pounds 66 million pan-European advertising account.

J. Walter Thompson Europe has won a project from Mazda which could lead

to the WPP-owned network landing the Japanese car giant’s entire pounds

66 million pan-European advertising account.



Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, has been hoping to win a

slice of Mazda business since his key client, Ford, increased its stake

in the company in June. A spokesman at Mazda’s European headquarters

confirmed: ‘We are looking at the possibility of harmonising marketing

communication across Europe.’



Mazda has asked JWT to make the case for such a harmonisation in what is

the first indication that it wants to use Ford’s global agencies - JWT

and Ogilvy and Mather Worldwide, which are both owned by WPP - for

international advertising. O&M is barred from the European project as it

handles the UK Ford account, but in the US, JWT is the Ford incumbent.



However, it is not clear how JWT’s relationship with Mazda across Europe

will affect locally appointed agencies. Japanese car companies market

themselves through independently minded distributors and accounts

usually move through local pitches, not by mandate from headquarters.



For example, Mazda Cars UK is an independent franchise 60 per cent owned

by the Japanese trading company, Itochu, and 40 per cent owned by

Inchcape. Howell Henry Chaldecott Lury has been its agency for three

years.



Chris Satterthwaite, a partner at HHCL, said he was fully aware of the

situation: ‘Mazda in the UK has made sure we have been informed. One

thing that needs to be considered is the outstanding success of Mazda in

the UK.’



Germany is a likely first target for JWT since it is one of the few

countries where Mazda wholly owns the franchise.



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