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Deutsch In Driver's Seat

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Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America must really like Deutsch after all.
Just weeks after executives at the Cypress, Calif., car maker joked that they were "in love" with the agency, Mitsubishi proved it. In a phone call from Peg Dilworth-Hunt, director of marketing, to Deutsch LA executive vice president and general manager Mike Sheldon, the client on Thursday night awarded the agency its estimated $250 million consolidated advertising and marketing account.
Deutsch will serve as Mitsubishi's sole agency, handling all factory and dealer ads as well as all below-the-line and interactive marketing duties. The clean sweep follows a wide ranging evaluation of Mitsubishi's vendors conducted by consultancy Select Resources International in Los Angeles.
Four shops lose all their business in the consolidation: CKS Partners in Portland, Ore., (interactive); Direct Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., (direct); The Designory in Santa Monica, (collateral); and Valdes Zacky Associates in Los Angeles (Hispanic ad duties).
Deutsch got its foot in the door with Mitsubishi only a year ago, winning the consolidated dealer account and then the Galant sedan.
"We're excited. It's a great fit," said Deutsch chairman and chief executive officer Donny Deutsch. The win makes Mitsubishi the agency's largest client and pushes its total billings to around $800 million.
In a "brutally competitive market," Dilworth-Hunt said, "we realized it was imperative to consolidate all elements of marketing in the hands of one marketing partner."
Deutsch won the pitch by proposing an integrated ad program that "would use all the tools in the tool box," said agency partner Peter Drakoulias. Sheldon and Deutsch LA executive creative director Eric Hirshberg will oversee the business, hiring up to 40 new staffers.
--with Andrew McMains