Before ending it seven-year relationship with creative agency of record 180LA, Mitsubishi pitted the agency against Omelet on several unspecified project assignments, ultimately handing Omelet two of these projects, according to sources close to the situation.
These parties, which attributed the move to an attempt to pressure 180LA to work for lower rates, allege that the client is now sending further project assignments to Omelet, with or without a formal review.
Spokespeople for both agencies have declined to comment, and Mitsubishi never responded to more than a week’s worth of emails and phone calls regarding its U.S. marketing business.
One party paints a picture of a client constantly on the lookout for ways to slash its expenses, including seeking out “lower-cost vendors” and then presenting their rates to 180LA as a way to pressure the agency to produce cheaper work. This source sums up Mitsubishi’s marketing approach as “do the same work they did last year, but pay less money for it.”
According to Kanter Media, Mitsubishi spent $95 million on measured media domestically last year, up from approximately $82 million in 2015.
180LA is currently in a transitional period that started when ASICS moved its account away from the agency last December.