Goodby Exits Volvo Pitch

NEW YORK Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, a late entrant in Volvo’s $150 million global creative review, has exited in order to pursue another car account, the client said, though the agency did not identify the automaker.

One likely possibility, according to sources, is Hyundai Motor America, which on Friday confirmed it has split with lead incumbent The Richards Group and launched a review of its account.

Hyundai, which spent nearly $600 million in major measured media last year, said that its COO, Steve Wilhite, and its new CMO, Joel Ewanick, would invite a select group of agencies to pitch.

Neither Goodby nor Hyundai could immediately be reached for comment.

When Goodby entered the contest four weeks ago, the San Francisco-based Omnicom Group agency became a partner to sister shop 180 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. At the time, the entrance was seen as bolstering 180’s chances of winning. 180, which has a small office in Los Angeles, now remains in the pitch on its own.

The other finalists are Publicis Groupe’s Fallon, the team of Havas’ Arnold and independent Nitro and the primary incumbent, Euro RSCG.

Final presentations are scheduled for March 20 and 21 at Volvo’s global headquarters in Goteborg, Sweden. Roth Associates in New York is managing the process. Volvo is a unit of Ford.

—with Gregory Solman