G2, Deutsch Barrage Mitsubishi

The waiting game has begun for G2 Advertising and Deutsch, Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America’s two dueling agencies.
At press time, the two shops had completed their final presentations for the estimated $40 million launch of the client’s all-new Galant sedan. Kim Custer, director of public affairs and corporate communications for Cypress, Calif-based Mitsubishi, said last Friday that a decision could come this week.
Sources said the client was leaning toward Deutsch.
One theme proposed by G2 and parent Grey Advertising, New York, was “Engineered to sing!” said sources. Both agencies are using the Galant review to present new branding ideas to replace G2’s current “Built for living” theme, said sources.
If Deutsch wins the assignment, sources predicted it will eventually pick up the entire $150 million factory account handled by G2. The car maker recently gave its longtime agency 180 days’ notice [Adweek, May 4].
Bob Berenson, president of Grey USA in New York, has called in resources from all over the network to assist Huntington Beach, Calif.-based G2, said sources. “They are pulling out all the stops,” Custer said. Grey’s New York and Los Angeles offices are both working with G2, an agency spokeswoman in New York confirmed. “We are determined to be in the automotive business,” she said.
Similarly, Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., brought in executives from its New York office for the pitch.
The strategy to pitch the Galant assignment as a network raises the possibility that G2 could be folded back into Grey. Grey established G2 as an autonomous shop devoted to Mitsubishi during a rocky period with the client in November 1993. As an autonomous shop, G2 reports directly to Berenson in New York rather than Jeff Alperin, chief executive officer of Grey’s Western division in Los Angeles.