- Mercedes-Benz of North America is looking for a new advertising agency following a split with Lowe & Partners/SMS in New York.
The car giant has pulled its $125 million advertising account from the Interpublic-owned Lowe, blaming management problems at the agency and potential conflicts posed by the Interpublic's affiliation with General Motors.
Mercedes' marketing head, Joe Eberhardt, told AdWeek magazine that the Montvale, N.J.-based car maker would be contacting agencies at True North Communications and Omnicom in a bid to find a replacement.
Omnicom's BDDO and TN's Bozell Worldwide both handle substantial Chrysler business. Foote, Cone & Belding, Bozell's sister shop, is looking to replace the Mazda account it was forced to resign when TN acquired Bozell last year.
The split with Lowe stems from the departure of its former co-chairman, Marvin Sloves, at the end of last year. Sloves had worked on the account since helping to win it in 1992.
Lowe will handle the account until 30 April, although the client has said it hopes to have a new shop in place "in the next couple of weeks."
Lowe said that it was "appalled" Mercedes would pull its account. Lowe chairman Lee Garfinkel added: "We did not lose the account because of the quality of work or the quality of service we provided to Mercedes-Benz".