Kia Goes With David and Goliath

David Angelo and Skip Sullivan Open New Agency in Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES–Kia Motors America has turned to a startup creative and strategic boutique to handle its $50 million ad account.
David Angelo and Skip Sullivan, who have worked for clients including Lexus, Coca-Cola, the Clinton inaugural campaign, Little Caesars, Reebok, Toyota and the New York Lottery, have teamed up to launch David and Goliath, which promises to “put to rest the Goliath-like, traditional agency model.”
Kia last week abruptly fired Goldberg Moser O’Neill, its agency of six years, citing a need to have a shop capable of providing more strategic assistance, as the Irvine, Calif.-based automaker prepares to launch three new models next year.
The company said it planned to up its ad budget to $100 million by 2001, as the company strives to reach a target of 175,000 units next year and more than 200,000 units the following year. As of October, the company had sold 113,000 units this year.
After GMO’s termination last week, Dick Macedo, Kia’s evp of marketing and sales, said the company wanted an agency that could provide one-stop shopping.
“There are broader strategic issues where we need assistance: pricing strategy, marketing-dollar allocation, brand audits,” said Macedo. “We want it all under one roof,” he added, without revealing the name of the shop.
The Los Angeles-based David and Goliath has signed agreements with a number of marketing-service organizations, including Interbrand, for brand consulting and corporate-identity tasks; Boyd Communications, for graphic design and collateral; Rapp Collins Worldwide, for direct marketing; and Omnicom-owned Optimum Media Direction in New York for media planning and buying.
Angelo and Sullivan, who said they are independent owners of the new shop, declined to comment on Kia. The pair met six years ago when they worked together at Team One Advertising, where Sullivan was management director and Angelo was associate creative director on the Lexus account.
Angelo was executive creative director at Cliff Freeman and Partners in New York, where he was responsible for the Little Caesars, Sauza Tequila, Cherry Coke and Fanta accounts until he left last year to freelance.
Sullivan was Team One’s third employee in 1988, and was responsible for building both the strategy behind the Lexus launch and Team One’s organization. In 1997, Sullivan joined Team One’s parent, Saatchi & Saatchi, as management director, with responsibility for international oversight of the Toyota and Lexus accounts.