AdAge may have ruffled some feathers when just prior to the Labor Day holiday, they published a story stating that WPP’s Grey was slated to pitch the new Chrysler work. Yesterday, the publication reported that WPP got a bit of a slap on the wrist when Ford learned of the Grey’s plans to pitch the Chrysler business. And that’s no surprise, really, since WPP’s Team Detroit services Ford.
“That Ford is putting its foot down and barring WPP from pitching a rival automaker’s account isn’t a surprise, especially when you consider its history with the holding company and its comparative position to Chrysler.
“Ford spent $1.9 billion in 2008 on U.S. advertising and ranks as the 11th largest national advertiser, according to Advertising Age’s DataCenter. It also was alone among Detroit automakers in maneauvering through the industry’s stunning downturn in 2008 and 2009 without taking a U.S. taxpayer bailout.”
WPP head Martin Sorrell was not immediately available for comment. However, we have heard that calls were made to Ford immediately following the publication of AdAge’s initial report (now unavailable online). Why WPP felt pitching this client was OK has yet to be revealed.