We Hear: Doner Lost Mazda

By Kiran Aditham 

The tips have been pouring in this morning that say Doner’s management team including Strasberg, DeMuth and Blett announced today that the agency has lost the Mazda account. We’re still waiting for official word from Doner that confirms or refutes these claims, but spies are already hinting that Team Detroit might have picked up the $150 million North American Mazda biz, which went into review in March.

Update: Looks like our tipsters were right on one count at least. AdAge has the full story, which includes the interesting tidbit that Mazda will keep the Doner-created “Zoom-Zoom” tag no matter which agency it chooses.


Update 2: After the jump, we have the full memo sent from Rob, David and Tim to staff this morning re: Mazda.

Update 3: Adweek reports that a team of WPP shops has won Mazda North American creative duties. WPP will create a dedicated unit to handle the automaker’s account.

More: “The New Dawn of Doner is Upon Us

It’s with a heavy heart and great disappointment that we must share the news that Mazda has decided to go in a new direction. While we fought valiantly throughout the process and laid it all on the line, Mazda has decided to move on. And so must we.

But to reflect for a moment, it’s important to acknowledge that we leave the Mazda brand and business in far better shape than we found it.

Together, with many supportive partners at Mazda North America, we generated outstanding results: we invented Zoom-Zoom, an emotional, differentiating and remarkably memorable brand platform that will remain the foundation for Mazda’s global marketing vision into the next decade; we accelerated Mazda’s use of the digital space with highly innovative digital programs like the 33 Keys alternate reality game; we re-ignited confidence, support and passion for the brand among dealers across North America; we successfully launched the brand in Mexico; and, most importantly, over the past 10 years, we have helped Mazda grow its share in Canada from 2%-5.5%, in Mexico from 0%-3.3% and in the U.S. from 1.4%-2.0% with Mazda achieving its highest U.S. retail market share in over 10 years in March 2010. That’s a legacy that we won’t just take pride in, but that we will build on for the future.

While the sting of this loss is painful it’s one that will pass quickly. Our sights are already set on the future and our new business initiative is focused on winning a new automotive account as well as other exciting opportunities in the pipeline.

Finally, it’s important to know that Doner was a vital agency before Mazda and we will remain a vital agency after Mazda. We have a portfolio of outstanding clients. The quality of our people and our work is at an all-time high and our commitment and determination is undeterred.

In the coming days and weeks, we will be sharing more with you about our plans for moving forward confidently, responsibly, and successfully.

As always, thank you for your incredible support, passion and will to win.

David, Rob and Tim