Mayer Joins Colby on Suzuki

LOS ANGELES Dentsu’s Colby & Partners has named former Mitsubishi executive Kevin Mayer as senior vice president, account director on the agency’s Suzuki account, he confirmed.

Mayer, who left Mitsubishi Motors North America as director of advertising [Adweek Online, May 3], will report to Dave Weber, executive vice president, general manager of Colby’s Brea, Calif., operation.

Mayer will plan and manage advertising, Internet, promotion and collateral, and participate on the strategic planning committee, according to the agency.

“I worked with [Weber] both at Grey and Hyundai, and it is exciting to be back with him,” said Mayer. “He’s knowledgeable on both the client and agency side.”

“What drew me to the Suzuki brand is that they’ve been around for about 50 years and I don’t think they’ve had an unprofitable year,” said Mayer. “That tells me they are smart about how they go about business.”

Mayer said his team is assembling an integrated launch-planning process and planning a brand revitalization and repositioning for the fall, when an entry-level 4 x 4 SUV will debut in September.

American Suzuki Motor Corp. spent $88 million advertising in 2004, representing a 6 percent increase over the previous year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Led by strong sales of Forenza and the XL7, Suzuki sold 27,108 vehicles through April, according to Car Concepts, Thousand Oaks, Calif., putting the firm 12 percent ahead for the year. April was the Brea-based automaker’s best sales month since August 1988, per the company.