Mayer Succeeds Hong at Mitsubishi

LOS ANGELES In advance of a creative review she was expected to lead, Diane Hong has tendered her resignation as director of advertising at Mitsubishi Motors North America, the company confirmed.

Kevin Mayer, formerly product marketing manager, has been named her successor and he will now oversee the review, the company said.

Executives at the company earlier this week tried to persuade Hong to reconsider but did not succeed, sources said. Hong could not be reached for comment.

The client placed creative chores on its $280 million account into review last week, inviting Interpublic Group’s Deutsch, the incumbent in Marina del Rey, Calif., to defend [Adweek Online, Dec. 6].

Hong will depart the company at the end of the year, prior to the start of the review scheduled to run through the first quarter of next year.

Company chairman and CEO Finbarr O’Neill is expected to lead the process. It is not known whether there will a successor to departed svp of marketing Ian Beavis before the start of the review.

Hong, who joined the struggling automaker in March from WPP Group’s Ogilvy & Mather, Hawaii, reported to Beavis, who left the Cypress, Calif., automaker last month [Adweek Online, Nov. 24]. Hong replaced Paul Mareski, who left the company in July after only six months on the job.

In a related development, a representative for Mitsubishi last week said its media buying, currently handled by Omnicom Group’s PHD, is not in play.

This story updates an item posted earlier today with news of Mayer’s appointment.