Navistar Media Shifts to KSL

NEW YORK Navistar International has named KSL Media for buying and planning chores, following a review that included the incumbent, Havas’ MPG, Aegis Group’s Carat and Publicis Groupe’s StarLink.

KSL, an independent here, will handle strategic planning and buying across all media platforms, with the exception of the company’s branded entertainment efforts, which were shifted to Fathom Communications earlier this year from MPG without a review.

Navistar’s estimated ad budget for the coming year is $15 million, per sources. That’s a sharp increase over the estimated $2.5 million in annual spending by the client in recent years.

“We were impressed with KSL’s understanding of emerging media trends and their ability to transform them into media touch points relevant to our customers,” said Michael Cerilli, director of marketing communications and brand strategy at Navistar. “We now have an entrepreneurial-oriented media partner that will help us amplify our media spend in the marketplace.”

In addition to both b-to-b and consumer outlets, KSL will identify non-media channels that can be used to deliver brand messages, the agency said.

“We’re taking off our media goggles and looking at the world from the customer’s perspective,” said Tom Stolfi, evp, corporate media director at KSL. “This is communication planning, not just traditional media planning. We’re not building weight for reach and frequency levels, we’re creating relevance in the lives of the targeted consumers.”

The Chicago-based client makes International Trucks, MaxxForce diesel engines and other products. The company is currently in the process of restating earnings for fiscal years 2002-04 and the first nine months of 2005. The company has not filed annual reports for 2005 or 2006, which led to its delisting earlier this year by the New York Stock Exchange. Shares are currently traded via an electronic trading system known as Pink Sheets.