Ford and Ogilvy Hit Road Block With New Line

By Michael McCarthy and Tanya Gazdik
NEW YORK–Ford Motor Co. and Ogilvy & Mather may have to scuttle plans to use the tagline “Driven by you” in a new corporate campaign after learning that another automotive-related company owns the rights to the phrase, sources said.
Progressive Corp. first registered the line as a trademark in 1992. Ford and its corporate agency, Ogilvy, are trying to secure the rights to the line from that company, said sources. If unsuccessful, the agency and client will need to develop another tagline for the estimated $40 million campaign, which is slated to break next spring.
Leslie Kolleda, a representative for the $3 billion Cleveland-based Progressive, confirmed the company had been “contacted” by an ad “agency” seeking to buy the line but declined the offer. “Progressive will not, at this point, relinquish our registered trademark on ‘Driven by you,'” she said. Kolleda declined to name the interested party, but sources identified the shop as Ogilvy.
Executives at both Ford and Ogilvy declined to comment.
Progressive’s Tampa, Fla.-based Progressive American Insurance unit first used the line in 1991. Progressive has not featured the phrase in several years. It currently uses, “Not what you’d expect in an auto insurance company,” in its ads by Hal Riney & Partners, Chicago.
In 1996, Ford trademarked a similar phrase developed by Ogilvy, “Everything we do is driven by you,” after first using it in 1994.
Ogilvy’s new campaign will replace the “Quality is job 1” theme developed by Wells BDDP in New York. The campaign has already been delayed once (it was initially set to break this month) when the agency decided to go “back to square one” on its creative work, sources said [Adweek, Nov. 3].