LOS ANGELES-Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America has launched a review to consolidate advertising for its dealer groups throughout the U.S. at one agency, the client confirmed last week. Billings on the account are $65-80 million, depending on sales, according to Mike Nash, MMSA vice president, marketing planning and dealer support, who confirmed the review.
Dealer advertising is currently divided among Zimmerman & Associates of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., which handles several Mitsubishi dealer associations nationwide; Grey Advertising's Los Angeles office, which serves the $10 million Los Angeles/Orange County Mitsubishi Dealers Advertisers Association; and three smaller agencies across the country.
Last week, sources said that Grey was in negotiations to purchase Zimmerman in an effort to become a stronger contender for the business.
Neither Grey nor Zimmerman executives returned phone calls at press time.
A team of executives from MMSA headquarters in Cypress, Calif., met with dealer representatives in August to discuss "how to develop a strong and consistent brand image [for the dealers], while driving traffic and increasing volume," Nash said.
Meanwhile, the dealer associations are expanding from 15 to 40 nationwide.
The review will be conducted by consultant Select Resources International of Los Angeles. Questionnaires will be sent to agencies this week.
A winner will be selected by the end of November.
The review does not impact Mitsubishi Motors Sales of America's factory account, which is handled by G2, a Huntington Beach, Calif.-based unit established several years ago by Grey Advertising. However, sources have said that the relationship appears troubled. Last month, Mitsubishi Motor Sales launched a review for its first agency in Canada.