Hyundai Hispanic Eyes Review

LOS ANGELES Hyundai Motor America is parting ways with its Hispanic marketing agency, Omnicom’s Del Rivero Messianu DDB.

Hyundai spent $35 million on Hispanic advertising in 2006, per TNS Media Intelligence.

The Coral Gables, Fla.-based agency was named the automaker’s agency in February 2006, after a review in the fall of 2005, when Michelle Cervantez was Hyundai’s chief marketing officer.

“The decision was made at the same time as the general market review, to have a clean slate,” said Joel Ewanick, client vp, marekting. “We think it is best for our long-term goal of brand development and short-term goal of managing and obtaining our 2007 retail goals.”

The $600 million general market account of the Fountain Valley, Calif.-based company is in review, with a shortlist of select agencies under consideration by COO Steve Wilhite and Ewanick.

A separate Hispanic review will likely start after the general market contest is complete, Ewanick added. However, the company wants to investigate the possibility that the new general agency can “help us develop strategy across all other cultures,” he said.

The last Hispanic campaign, which consisted of television, print, radio and outdoor executions, was focused on the Sonata and Santa Fe models. It used the theme “Inspires respect,” said Luis Miguel Messianu, the agency’s chief creative officer and principal. “The intent was to re-establish the credentials for the brand.”

Sales were flat in 2006 at 456,000 units and down 8 percent in January 2007 compared to the same month a year earlier, according to Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif.