Y&R Inherits Land Rover Business

Land Rover is expected to give 90 days’ notice to GSD&M and move its $50 million account to Young & Rubicam within the next two weeks, sources said.

The business will be moved to the agency’s Irvine, Calif., office, sources said, since that’s also the client’s North American base and where the shop’s Lincoln-Mercury ac count is handled. Y&R New York steers Jaguar, although work for that brand is also done out of Irvine. The Irvine office of Y&R sibling Media edge:cia, which also handles Jaguar, will now do Land Rover media as well.

GSD&M’s contract for Land Rover in North America extends to December 2003, but a “no-cut” clause terminated on June 30. The Austin, Texas-based agency is now subject to a standard 90-day-notice clause for termination [Adweek, Jan. 14]. When Ford Motor Co. purchased Land Rover from BMW in May 2000, the automaker agreed to honor the current contract with GSD&M.

Y&R handles the Land Rover account in the rest of the world, and the agency has been angling for the U.S. portion for some time. Officials at Y&R, which handles a total of about $500 million in Lincoln-Mercury and Jaguar business, declined comment. Overseas billings for Land Rover could not be determined.

Jon Williams, Land Rover North America’s vice president of marketing, did not return calls. A GSD&M representative said the agency spoke with the client last week and the car maker “told us that no decision has been made, and until we hear directly from them otherwise, we’ll continue to work on their business.”