Creative in Play on $190 Mil. Mitsubishi Biz

LOS ANGELES Mitsubishi Motors North America today said it would review the creative portion of its estimated $190 million U.S. ad account now held by Omnicom Group’s BBDO West in Los Angeles.

Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., has been tapped to conduct the review, which will also include the digital portion of the business currently handled by Organic, according to the automaker.

Agency representative Roy Elvove said BBDO would not defend: “We were aware that the contract was up and that an RFP had been issued, and decided not to participate. We will try to make the transition as smooth as possible.” BBDO added the account in March 2005.

“BBDO West has been instrumental in the revitalization of the Mitsubishi brand in North America,” said Dan Kuhnert, client evp of sales and marketing, in a statement. “However, as Mitsubishi Motors begins a new three-year plan globally, it is appropriate for us to consider new possibilities.”

BBDO has most recently produced ads tagged “It’s go time,” a shift from the automaker’s “Driven to thrill” positioning that stressed its “J-Cool” (“Japanese-Cool”) heritage.

Omnicom’s PHD handles media chores, which are not in play.

Mitsubishi was up 9 percent in sales in 2007 to 129,000 units, per Car Concepts, on the strength of the Outlander and Galant. (Mitsubishi is down 15 percent to 16,000 units through February 2008.)