Honda shifts pounds 20m UK brief from CDP to W&K

CDP has lost its flagship pounds 20 million Honda account as the

Japanese car maker consolidates its UK business into Wieden & Kennedy in

a bid to increase UK brand awareness.

From October W&K will handle all creative work for Honda in the UK,

ousting both CDP and The Leith Agency from the roster, as part of a new

initiative dubbed the Dream Factory.

W&K and CDP pitched for the business against the Edinburgh-based The

Leith Agency. W&K enlisted the help of TBWA's former chief operating

officer Neil Christie, who was involved in running the Nissan account at

the agency.

Christie is not taking a permanent role at the agency.

Dentsu-owned CDP has handled the account for seven years and the move is

a major blow to its billings. Its hold on the account was weakened by

The Leith Agency, which was appointed last year to work on Honda's

pounds 40 million European South account. The Leith Agency followed this

up with the win of the pounds 30 million pan-European launch of the new

Honda Civic.

The Honda loss follows CDP's move to broaden its integrated services

with the launch of Angel Direct, a direct marketing arm that was set up

to work on several existing clients, including Honda. It also has plans

for PR, TV production and online advertising arms. The agency has made a

bid to boost its ailing creative credentials with the hiring of former

Lowe Lintas & Partners creatives Andy Amadeo and Mick Mahoney as joint

executive creative directors.

A CDP campaign in July 1999 focused on Honda's UK headquarters in

Swindon, using the strapline "Swindon. Home of the Honda Civic," and

"Welcome to Swindon".

Chris Macleod, the chief executive of CDP, said CDP Media will continue

to handle Honda's media account.

W&K's chief executive, Amy Lawson, said: "The pool of talent here has a

lot of combined experience working on car accounts and we are very

excited about Honda." She confirmed that although the agency will not

take full control until January 2002, W&K was working on projects ready

for launch next year.