$165 Mil. Subaru Account Heads to DDB

NEW YORK Subaru of America has awarded creative chores on its ad account to Omnicom Group’s DDB following a review, the client has confirmed. Estimated billings are $165 million. DDB in New York prevailed over finalists The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., and McCann Erickson in New York, both Interpublic Group shops; and Berlin Cameron/Red Cell in Ned York, a WPP Group unit.

“We need to communicate the Subaru brand promise in a way that is relevant, memorable and differentiated in the marketplace,” said Fred Adcock, evp, marketing at Subaru, in a statement. “We are pleased to partner with DDB for their unique capabilities and demonstrated understanding of our brand goals and business objectives, and we think this partnership will serve as a catalyst in moving the Subaru brand forward among a very crowded and competitive automotive brand landscape.”

DDB chairman and CCO Lee Garfinkel and managing director Peter Hempel will work on the Subaru business; their presence at the shop was cited by the client as a key factor in DDB’s selection. Garfinkel worked on Subaru as a copywriter in the early 1980s with New York shop Levine, Huntley, Schmidt & Beaver. Hempel has consumer retail brand experience from his pre-DDB stint as evp, director of marketing for Gap.

IPG’s TM Advertising in Irving, Texas, was the incumbent on the creative portion of he business.

AAR Partners in New York oversaw the review process, which was marred by confusion when the consultancy confirmed an incomplete list of finalists [Adweek Online, July 28].