Ford Focus Taps JWT

NEW YORK Ford has selected creative concepts from JWT for its next Focus campaign after mulling ideas from three agencies, the client confirmed today.

The other shops were Havas’ Arnold in Boston and independent mcgarrybowen here, according to a Ford representative. Arnold handles Ford’s Volvo brand; mcgarrybowen does not have any Ford business.

WPP’s JWT was the incumbent on Focus. Its Detroit office led its pitch with help from New York, said sources.

The selection came after the automaker tested creative concepts presented by the shops.

The new campaign, which will consist of TV, print and interactive ads, will launch in the fall, when a redesigned Focus arrives at dealerships, the rep said.

Ford confirmed the search last month, with a rep explaining that “with all the stories to tell about this car and the growing importance of the small-car segment in general, we wanted to get the most ideas on the table as we could.”

The new Focus will be among the first Ford models to offer the new Sync technology developed with Microsoft, which is a voice-activated option that controls text messaging, music and other features.

Major media spending for the Focus dwindled to less than $5 million last year from nearly $55 million in 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Sources expect spending to rise significantly from last year, given the relaunch. One source put the expected outlay at $80 million, while another said it could be as little as $15 million.