CEA Lands Michelin

Campbell-Ewald Ad-vertising now has tires to go with its cars and trucks. The Warren, Mich., agency last week won Michelin North America’s $35 million account in a review dominated by shops with auto experience.

CEA bested Carmichael Lynch, Minneapolis, and The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., for the Greenville, S.C.-based client. The Michelin Man showed up at the agency Friday with the news.

Company executives declined to comment other than releasing a statement in which Pete Selleck, COO of Michelin America’s Small Tires, said he was “excited about the possibilities” and that CEA offered the best fit for “our strategic marketing plans.”

Agency CEO Tony Hopp said his shop emphasized its experience marketing to woman and younger people and its retail experience with Chevy, specifically its methods to “energize distribution channels.”

Sources said none of the contending shops broached competitor Firestone’s recent troubles in their presentations.

Incumbent DDB New York was eliminated in an earlier round in the review, along with Leo Burnett in Chicago, The Richards Group in Dallas, and Merkley Newman Harty, New York. DDB’s last work for the brand, which broke earlier this year, had a baby doing a hula dance.

Hopp would not elaborate on what the agency presented creatively to Michelin, and said it was too early to say if the pitch ideas would be part of the shop’s first campaign for the brand. The break date for first work has not been cemented, he added.