LOS ANGELES Mitsubishi Motors North America said it has awarded creative duties on its $185 million account to independent shop Traffic here.
The other finalists, per sources, were Omnicom's DDB/LA, Venice, Calif., and independents Ignited in El Segundo, Calif., and WongDoody, which pitched from its Seattle and Culver City, Calif., offices.
Dan Kuhnert, Mitsubishi evp, sales and marketing, said in a statement that all agency finalists "demonstrated insight into the Mitsubishi brand, and had great ideas. However Traffic presents a keen understanding of how to leverage the strengths of our brand and the 'importance of now' which is extremely relevant in today's auto industry."
Traffic is backed by the Cimarron Group. The shop's creative chief Tom Cordner was the original ecd on Lexus at Publicis Groupe's Team One, El Segundo, Calif., and a former worldwide creative director on Ford for WPP Group's JWT.
At Traffic, Cordner pitched the Mitsubishi business with John Powers, former management director of the Lexus dealers association at Team One. Powers is president of Traffic and Cordner is co-chairman with Cimarron CEO Bob Farina.
Traffic's Powers said: "We can't wait to get started and help Mitsubishi tell its exciting brand story."
Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., conducted the review.
The three-year incumbent, Omnicom's BBDO West, San Francisco and here, did not defend the business. Media duties, held by Omnicom's PHD, were not in play. (Organic's interactive chores on the nameplate are also shifting to Traffic, the client said.)