Ford Completes WPP Review, Tighter Ties On Hold

DETROIT An internal review of proposed relationships between Ford Motor Co. and the WPP Group has been completed and earlier recommendations by Ford President and Chief Operating Officer Nick Scheele have been put on hold, a Ford representative said.

Senior representatives from Ford’s marketing, purchasing and finance units are taking another look at the subject, the representative said. No timetable has been set.

“The recommendation is that the proposed arrangements with WPP be reviewed and represented internally to ensure that the business benefits are achieved in the context of full compliance with the company’s single-source supplier policy and overall company purchasing procedures,” said Scheele, in a letter he sent to company officers March 11.

Scheele sent a memo to marketing executives in February that outlined changes which would have made it more difficult for non-WPP agencies to obtain business with Ford. The automaker, however, has an internal rule prohibiting a single supplier from monopolizing a business arrangement. Scheele said through a representative that it was never his intention to force Mazda and Volvo to sever their relationship with their agencies and go with a WPP agency.

Satish Korde will remain in his current position as WPP’s Ford account president, a position created at Scheele’s request. He will continue to act as the single point of contact for the WPP agencies working on Ford accounts.