Kia Taps AAR to Lead Review

LOS ANGELES Kia Motors America has hired consultancy AAR Partners to oversee the review for creative chores on its $270 million ad account, the client said.

The Irvine, Calif.-based client’s incumbent, independent davidandgoliath here, will be given an automatic berth in the final round.

New York-based AAR is also conducting the review for Subaru’s $140 million ad business.

“If it is going into a review, we will put our best toward proving why we’ve been their agency for the last five years,” said David Angelo, chairman and chief creative officer of davidandgoliath. “We are very proud of the work and the results that we’ve garnered for the Kia Motors account: five months of record sales, and a dealer body group that gave us a standing ovation at our last presentation. So we invite any agency to come in. My feeling is, bring it on.”

KMA is preparing a major relaunch of its compact Sportage SUV later this year.

The company reported in May year-to-date sales of 82,822 vehicles, 7 percent above the comparable period in 2003. Both the Optima midsize sedan and the Sedona minivan set new sales records in March; the Sorento midsize SUV saw a 33 percent surge, and the Amanti sedan also set a monthly sales record.

Davidandgoliath won the business in November of 1999 without a review from then incumbent GMO in San Francisco.

This story updates an item posted yesterday with the news that AAR will guide the Kia review.