DaimlerChrysler Keeps Web Work With Organic

NEW YORK Daimler-
Chrysler has retained Organic following a five-month review of its Web development and digital marketing services, sources said.

The Omnicom Group i-shop, which has held the bulk of the car maker’s interactive account for more than four years, beat out sister shop Critical Mass in the final round to secure a three-year contract, according to sources.

DaimlerChrysler spent about $10 million in online advertising for the first eight months of this year, about as much as it spent for all of 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

At the height of the Internet boom, the DaimlerChrysler business at Organic accounted for more than $30 million in revenue or 25 percent of its overall revenue, according to the i-shop’s 2000 annual report. The interactive agency’s Detroit office has steered Web initiatives for various DaimlerChrysler brands, including Chrysler, Chrysler Financial Corp. and Dodge, since August 1999.

Jeff Bell, who was promoted in November to vice president of marketing for Chrysler/Jeep from vp of marketing for Jeep, was one of the key decision makers in the review, sources said.

Critical Mass, headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, will continue to work for Mercedes-Benz, a DaimlerChrysler division that was not a part of the review, sources said. The interactive shop, 50 percent owned by Omnicom Group, has handled Internet programs for Mercedes-Benz, including MBUSA.com, since 1996.

The Auburn Hills, Mich., client declined comment, as did Organic. Critical Mass could not be reached.