Damoose, well known for his strong family values, left the No. 3 automaker last Thursday to become vp/marketing at Pat Robertson's International Family Entertainment, the cable network that owns The Family Channel. Damoose was replaced by A.C. 'Bud' Liebler, who will hold the title vp/marketing and communications. Liebler had been vp/communications at Chrysler since May 1990. Since joining Chrysler in 1980 from Ross Roy, he has held a number of executive-level positions in merchandising, marketing and public relations.
That Damoose is going to work for a broadcast entity with a political agenda didn't surprise those who know or work with him. He often spoke out against media he felt did not square with his moral standards. Also, there is consensus among present and former Chrysler executives, as well as agency executives, that Chrysler, through Damoose, has conducted the most politically charged and often contentious agency-client relationships in the industry. Because of that, Damoose, as one colleague said, 'Did not endear himself to too many people who had to work closely with him, but it's hard to argue with the success we have had and his role in that.'
Damoose couldn't be reached last week.
A recent instance, according to Chrysler sources, was Damoose's handling of the strategic shootout between Bozell and BBDO for the new Neon model, an entry-level subcompact for which Chrysler has high hopes worldwide. According to one Chrysler source, Damoose appeared to try to give Bozell extra opportunities to alter the strategy it was pitching despite consensus enthusiasm for BBDO's work. And in the aftermath of BBDO's win, and up until last week, he was insisting the Neon media plan not include buys in outlets to which he personally objected - such as MTV, Details and Playboy - despite the media planners assessment that they were right for reaching Chrysler's target audience for the car.
'I might be open to things like that,' Liebler said last Thursday. 'There are so many media choices out there. You don't want to offend people. But I'm not talking pure vanilla here either, because I'll take some risks.'
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)