The Martin Agency has lost the creative account for Saab Cars USA.
The loss--estimated at $180 million in billings over the past three years--has triggered the firing of 40 members of the Richmond, Va., agency's 415 person staff.
Saab's creative work now passes to Lowe Brindfors in Stockholm, Sweden, part of the Lowe Group, a division of the Interpublic Group of Cos.
Agency spokesperson Dean Jarrett said that Martin will continue to handle all media planning and buying, as well as direct marketing duties for Saab Cars USA, a division of General Motors.
Martin has been rocked by an 18-month string of dot-com disasters. Fully two thirds of some $200 million in anticipated billings from dot-com clients failed to materialize.
The agency lost the interactive part of the Saab account to Digitas, Boston, last April.