Suzuki Loss Hits Dentsu Hard

LOS ANGELES DentsuNext is pondering what’s next. Having practically exchanged fortunes with independent Siltanen & Partners with the loss of the lion’s share of the $120 million American Suzuki Motor account two weeks ago, the shop is down to Suzuki motorbikes and ATVs, according to the agency, a mere $7 million remainder in 2007, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Yet, amidst resumes flying from the agency, according to sources, none of the 50-plus employees has yet been let go, states Paul Katzka, president of the Orange County office in Brea, Calif., though he acknowledged last week that the shop was “considering restructuring.”

Still at the shop until further notice: seasoned automotive creative director Carmen Dorr, who’s seen what losing a key automotive account can mean. She came to DentsuNext predecessor Colby & Partners in 2002 after working on Hyundai at Bates USA West, which closed within months of losing the automaker’s business to The Richards Group.

Katzka said the shop would continue to work on Suzuki and help the DentsuNext office in New York on Sharp Electronics. Katzka said the agency would proceed cautiously, “do the smart thing for the present as well as the smart thing for the future.”