After 31 Years, Harley, Carmichael Ride Apart

Harley-Davidson and IPG’s Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis have split up after working together for 31 years, agency and client said today.

The iconic motorcycle manufacturer said it would not seek a new lead agency, but plans to move ahead with its current roster of 10-plus shops including McCann, VSA Partners, Davie Brown and GS Design.

In a statement, Mark-Hans Richer, client CMO, said, “Our strategies have been moving away from a singular consumer target and a one-size-fits-all agency solution. Rather than accept this new reality, Carmichael Lynch chose a different path and we respect that.”

According to Doug Spong, president of Carmichael Lynch, “Our agency leadership came to the consensus that we’ve taken the Harley-Davidson brand as far as we can. It’s in our best interest to part ways.” The team working on Harley at the agency will be redeployed to other brands.
Domestic measured media spending by the client was $10-12 million in recent years, down from $20 million during the mid-2000s, per Nielsen.