Chrysler to BBDO: Reprioritize

As part of a reorgani za tion intended to create more auto nomous brands, Chrysler will ask lead agency BBDO to keep creative teams dedicated to a single nameplate.

“On the creative side, [the agency was] sharing people between all three brands, and we’re going to want them to beef up the brands individually,” said George Murphy, Chrysler Group svp, global marketing. “I think it’s just reprioritizing.”

Murphy’s comments came as the automaker last week consolidated its marketing and product-planning units into three vehicle brand teams. The executive heading each team will be accountable for the success of all vehicles, marketing programs and the dealer experience within the brand.

Tom Marinelli will lead Chrysler, Jeff Bell will oversee Jeep, and Darryl Jackson will head Dodge. All three vps will report to Murphy.

A BBDO representative said the agency endorsed Chrysler’s plan.

The new structure gives greater authority to a single exec utive on each brand’s marketing plans, but Murphy said he doesn’t anticipate the three leaders will look outside BBDO. Any use of additional agencies would have to be ap proved by him, he said.

Previously, the Chry sler and Jeep brands were serviced by a single team. Murphy said he worked for several months on a plan to separate the two. Also, an internal group of product-planning executives was studying how to better marry marketing and product planning. The two plans came together to effect the new structure, which should result in “less finger-pointing and turf wars,” Murphy said

“These vice presidents have as much accountability as you can give them relative to the brands,” he said. “Their job is to grow the brands. We gave them the horsepower and now the clout in the system to get it done.”

The marketing vps will have an advertising team, a dealer marketing programs department and a marketing and product-planning director.

Jim Julow, formerly head of the Dodge global brand center, will head the marketing organization devoted to Chrysler Group’s motor sports and performance vehicles.