PCG Tallies Major Coup

With Davidic flair, a small Southern California agency has prevailed over one of the world’s biggest public relations companies to capture the public relations assignment for Lincoln-Mercury.
Pacific Communications Group, a 3-year-old integrated marketing shop in Torrance, Calif., has been tapped to handle domestic public relations duties for the Ford Motor Co. luxury division, which is relocating to Irvine, Calif., from Detroit.
The agency beat out two other shops for the assignment, including Burson-Marsteller, said sources. Burson-Marsteller is the sister agency of Young & Rubicam, which handles Lincoln-Mercury’s $275 million ad account and is moving some of its Detroit-based staff to Southern California to service the business.
“[PCG] has been hired to specifically help us with our move,” said Tom Mattia, Lincoln-Mercury public affairs director. The agency will handle public relations and media relations, working directly with Mattia’s five-person staff.
Mattia confirmed that PCG competed against two other shops, but declined to name them or comment on the size of the business, which was previously handled in-house.
Shane Smith, PCG general manager, called Lincoln-Mercury’s relocation from Detroit to the West Coast “one of the great car stories of the ’90s.”
Smith, a Chiat/Day veteran, founded PCG in 1995. The agency now has 20 employees and handles public relations, collateral and some ad duties for a variety of clients.
–with Jane Irene Kelly