Hong Succeeds Mareski at Mitsubishi

LOS ANGELES Diane Hong has been named director of advertising for Mitsubishi Motors, replacing Paul Mareski, who tendered his resignation as vice president of advertising, effective July 9, after only six months in the position.

Hong, who joined the Cypress, Calif., automaker in March, was manager of brand strategy. She most recently worked at WPP’s Ogilvy & Mather, Hawaii, where she was a director of brand strategy on Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Hong also worked at Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi, Torrance, Calif., where she worked on the Toyota Camry account.

Hong reports to Ian Beavis, senior vice president of product planning. In the midst of declining sales, Beavis and O’Neill made changes to advertising strategy, including less focus on lifestyle and music, more on vehicle attributes. Beavis had told Adweek that the company would also shift money out of network TV, triple its print ad budget to $60 million and do more spot TV.

The company pushed its Galant and Endeavor SUV with spots requiring viewers to go online to view the conclusion. In the first quarter this year, sales were off 18.8 percent, per Ward’s Autobank, with Galant sales off 25 perecent.

Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., handles the Mitsubishi account. The client spent nearly $300 million last year on domestic ads.