Fiat Chrysler Completes Its Digital Review, Names New Agency Lineup

By Patrick Coffee 

Nearly eight months after first announcing the move in February, Fiat Chrysler has completed a digital agency review concerning the brands Chrysler, Dodge, FIAT North America, Jeep and Ram.

Incumbent SapientNitro, which had been the client’s digital AOR for five years, was forced to play defense only a couple of months after its big-money acquisition by Publicis Groupe. The shop ended up losing a share of its responsibilities on the account, though it will retain a portion of the business.

Prior to the review, Sapient (which won the business from Omnicom’s Organic in 2010) handled all things digital for the five brands mentioned above, including interactive experiences, web design/development, online advertising, corporate content and international web properties. A client spokesperson, however, tells us that the Publicis shop’s work will be limited to “website creative and development” moving forward.


In its place, Brooklyn-based IPG agency Huge will oversee the brands’ online advertising. The client has also chosen independent tech/data-focused agency Merkle to monitor analytics for all branded sites and Shift-Digital for work related to “program management for the website and analytic activities.”

In other Chrysler news, the company continues to look for a new creative agency to run the Jeep and Alfa Romeo accounts.

In March, a client spokesperson confirmed that it would no longer work with former creative AOR GlobalHue. At the time, Fiat claimed that it would turn to its “dedicated roster” shops (which include The Richards Group, Wieden+Kennedy and Doner) for future Jeep work but told us that it was still “actively reviewing agencies that specialize in African-American marketing and advertising.” It then chose Doner and Richards to promote the U.S. relaunch of its Alfa Romeo model.

In May, we heard that Chrysler had expanded its agency roster by assigning project-based Jeep work to 72andSunny. The client said that it “does not comment on collaborative agency partners” but our sources told us that 72 had already begun working on an unannounced campaign.

Later in the summer, the company decided that it would like to sign new AOR partners for the Jeep and Alfa Romeo brands after all, confirming to AdAge that it had issued briefs. Sources told us that Doner was one of the agencies involved, but it would appear that shops outside Chrysler’s roster are also participating in the review.

These moves aside, CMO Olivier Francois still “welcomes creative ideas from all our global agencies for all brands”–and he wants to air an Alfa Romeo ad during next year’s Super Bowl.

More Chrysler news to come.