Deutsch Opts Out of Mitsubishi Review

LOS ANGELES Incumbent Deutsch/LA has withdrawn from the Mitsubishi Motors North America creative review, the client said.

The automaker on Monday had said Deutsch/LA, an Interpublic Group agency in Marina del Rey, Calif., would compete against four other finalists. The client spends about $200 million annually on ads.

“After much consideration, we do not see pursuing the Mitsubishi business as a long-term, financially sound relationship for us,” said agency representative Vonda LePage in a statement.

Mitsubishi also issued a brief statement, attributed to advertising director Kevin Mayer, that read, in part, “Deutsch … has informed us that they have decided to withdraw from the selection process.” No further explanation was given.

Still in contention are: IPG’s TM Advertising in Irving, Texas; Omnicom Group’s BBDO in Los Angeles and New York; and two Publicis Groupe shops: Publicis & Hal Riney in San Francisco and Publicis West in Seattle. A lone semifinalist, independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, did not advance [Adweek Online, Jan. 24].

The finalist agencies will be asked to complete an integrated work assignment around the launch of Mitsubishi’s new 2006 Eclipse, the client said.

Work sessions are scheduled to take place at the client’s headquarters next week, with final presentations planned for mid-February. A decision is expected by March.

Consultancy Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is guiding the review.

This story updates an item posted on Jan. 25 with Mitsubishi’s statement.