Chrysler Reaches Out

Chrysler is reaching out to its roster shops and beyond for ideas in an effort to replace Fallon, which has severed ties with the automaker after it was awarded General Motors’ Cadillac brand, sources said.
Publicis Groupe’s Fallon had handled ads touting Chrysler sedans, vans and trucks. Independent Wieden + Kennedy works on Dodge sedans and Jeep, while the The Richards Group, also an independent, handles Dodge Ram and heavy trucks. Chrysler has also given the brief to agencies that have previously pitched the company (but are not on the roster) like Interpublic’s Gotham and Publicis & Hal Riney, per sources.
Publicis & Hal Riney is pitching with Marcel, a Paris-based sibling shop that also worked with Fallon on the Chrysler assignment, sources said. In Europe, Marcel works with Lancia and the Fiat Group. Olivier Francois, who was appointed president, CEO of the Chrysler brand by the carmaker’s new Fiat management last year, is also the CEO of Fiat’s Lancia unit. (After Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, Sergio Marchionne, the CEO at Fiat, took on that role at the American company after Fiat took a 20 percent stake in Chrysler and was given control of the automaker.)
Major media spending on Chrysler-branded vehicles totaled nearly $150 million last year, and topped $75 million in the first four months of 2010, per Nielsen.
A Chrysler rep declined comment. The agencies said to be pitching ideas either declined comment or could not be reached. Fallon reps did not respond to inquiries.
Fallon picked up Cadillac’s luxury automotive brand from corporate sibling Bartle Bogle Hegarty, which won the business in January, after a review conducted by a different management at GM and Cadillac. Publicis Groupe holds a 49 percent stake in BBH.