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Deutsch in Mitsubishi 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 agency on Friday was awarded the client's consolidated $250 million advertising and marketing account.
Deutsch, picking up more than $100 million in new business, is now Mitsubishi's sole agency, handling all factory and dealer ads as well as below-the-line and interactive marketing duties. The clean sweep follows a wide-ranging evaluation of Mitsubishi's vendors by consultancy Select Resources International, Los Angeles.
Deutsch got its foot in the door with Mitsubishi only a year ago, winning the consolidated dealer account and the Galant sedan business.
Four shops lose all their business in the consolidation: CKS Partners in Portland, Ore., (interactive); Direct Partners in Santa Monica, Calif., (direct marketing); The Designory in Santa Monica, (collateral); and Valdƒs Zacky Associates in Los Angeles, (Hispanic ad duties).
"We're excited. It's a great fit," said Deutsch chairman and chief executive Donny Deutsch. The win makes Mitsubishi the shop's largest client and pushes total billings into the $800 million range.
Dilworth-Hunt said, "we realized it was imperative to consolidate all elements of marketing in the hands of one marketing partner."
Sheldon and Deutsch LA executive creative director Eric Hirshberg will oversee the business, with support from interactive and direct units. The agency will hire up to 40 additional staffers, said Sheldon. --with Andrew McMains