The Detroit Free Press reports Chrysler Group LLC, which has spent much less money on advertising through its bankruptcy crisis, is likely to diversify its advertising among multiple agencies and reduce its dependency on BBDO.
In late August, the automaker said it would launch a review that included BBDO during Q4.
“We have not confirmed that any agencies have been selected,” Chrysler spokeswoman Jodi Tinson told the paper.
Ad Age reported Tuesday that Chrysler would end its relationship with its longtime ad agency in 2010. BBDO has provided most of Chrysler’s advertising going back to 1944. But the relationship is strained for a variety of reasons. Chrysler owed Omnicom Group, BBDO’s parent, $58.1 million, when it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. No news whether Chrysler has repaid any of that.
And according to the Nielsen, Chrysler slashed its ad spending from $840 million in 2008 to $230 million through the first half of this year. Chrysler shifted its Jeep advertising account several years ago from BBDO. GlobalHue is currently the primary agency for Jeep.
The Richards Group Dallas is the AOR for the newly created Dodge Ram truck brand, which Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne announced last week.
RBR-TVBR observation: These may not be the best of times for BBDO. With the huge debt likely not paid by Chrysler yet, possibly losing Chrysler altogether, and bowing out of the $200 million Pizza Hut review recently, things might be getting dicey.