Daihatsu overhaul sparks pounds 4m pitch

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.