BBDO, Chrysler split; Detroit area office to close


The Detroit Free Press confirms that BBDO, long-time Chrysler agency, will close its Troy, MI and Windsor, ON offices in late January, after Chrysler and the agency decided to go separate ways. In late August, the automaker said it would launch a review that included BBDO during Q4, but rumors have persisted that Chrysler would end its relationship with the agency in 2010.

The agency, which employs about 485 at its Troy office, has produced advertising and marketing brochures, trained dealers and provided other services to Chrysler since 1944.

Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne has empowered the Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands, and created a fourth – Dodge Ram trucks. Each has its own president and CEO, and those people can select their own agencies. GlobalHue, another metro Detroit agency, has created Jeep’s most recent advertising. The Richards Group Dallas has launched the new “My Name is Ram” campaign for Dodge Ram.

The relationship between the automaker and BBDO has been strained since November 2008 when the agency laid off 145 people, or about a quarter of its Detroit area staff, about the time Chrysler sought financial help from the federal government.

When Chrysler filed for Chapter 11 4/30, BBDO was listed as one of its largest creditors. Chrysler owed it $58.1 million.