Hyundai/Kia Media to Initiative

NEW YORK Hyundai/Kia has selected Interpublic Group’s Initiative to handle U.S. media duties following a review.

Last month the client cut to three finalists, which also included Havas Media and incumbent Carat.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as media and marketing partner with Hyundai and Kia, two of the fastest-growing players in the automotive category,” says Richard Beaven, Initiative CEO. “Like us and our existing clients, Hyundai and Kia believe in the power of media to transform marketing results, and we are keen to work with such like-minded individuals during this important and challenging time for the industry.”

Final presentations took place during the first two weeks of December.

Sarah Fay, CEO of Carat, said, “It’s a sad day because we’ve been a part of the Hyundai/Kia family for the past five years and we’re proud of the work we’ve for them. They’ve consistently grown their business.” Fay added: “All we can say at this point is we wish them well and obviously this opens us up to a car account.”

World Marketing Group (WMG), the Irvine, Calif.-based media management group for Hyundai Motor America and Kia Motors America, placed the account in review in October 2007 and hired Roth Associates at that time to guide the review process.

Combined domestic measured media spending topped $800 million in 2006, with Hyundai accounting for $600 million of that outlay, according to Nielsen
Monitor-Plus. Through the first eight months of 2007, Hyundai and Kia spent about $320 million and $150 million, respectively, on U.S. ads.

The client granted incumbent Carat an automatic finalist slot in the review process.

Creative duties for Hyundai and Kia, now at Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco and independent davidandgoliath in El Segundo, Calif., respectively, were not in play.

This story updates an earlier item with agency quotes.