FIAT Chrysler Automobiles confirmed today that it has chosen DDB Chicago as creative agency of record for its Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands, effective immediately. There was no formal review.
A client spokesperson tells Adweek, "FCA US LLC has selected DDB Chicago as the lead creative agency for the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands. As the agency of record, DDB Chicago will be responsible for Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands U.S. advertising programs."
Today's announcement confirms a report that ran last month on Adweek Blog Network's AgencySpy regarding the Jeep business and follows last week's news that the parent company would end its six-year partnership with brand agency of record Wieden + Kennedy. FCA officially added DDB to its roster earlier this year, and the agency subsequently produced "4x4Ever," which was one of two Jeep ads to air during Super Bowl 50.
The shift marks the latest in a string of changes to the auto giant's marketing roster. The reshuffling began one year ago when FCA parted ways with former Jeep agency of record GlobalHue, which created the client's Super Bowl XLVIII ad starring Bob Dylan. At the time, a spokesperson implied that the company would not launch a review for the Jeep brand and would not choose a new lead agency for that account.
Later in March 2015, FCA announced that it planned to "relaunch" its Italian sports car brand Alfa Romeo in the United States via the new 4C Spider model with the help of agency partners Doner and The Richards Group and assigned project-based work on the Jeep business to the agency 72andSunny.
Over the summer, the client reversed course, confirming that it had issued RFPs for both the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands after concluding a digital review that ended in a victory for IPG agency Huge over incumbent SapientNitro.
Before January's Detroit Auto Show, various reports claimed that FIAT Chrysler had added three new agencies to its roster, with DDB leading creative on Alfa Romeo, FCB Chicago working on the Jeep account and New York's Translation tapped for global brand work. FCA declined to comment at the time.
The client also has a relationship with U.K.-based independent agency Iris Worldwide, which created its second Super Bowl 50 ad "Portraits." That spot subsequently won Adweek's Super Clio Award for best spot of the Big Game.
This news marks the latest win for the DDB organization, which recently defeated Leo Burnett Chicago and San Francisco's Eleven, Inc. to win the Time Warner Cable business.
At the time of this story, FCA has not commented on the status of its relationships with FCB, Iris Worldwide and Translation or its plans to replace Wieden + Kennedy on the global brand account. According to Kantar Media, FCA spent more than $218 million on measured media marketing the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands during the first nine months of 2015.