In the Race for Mazda

NEW YORK-Mazda Motor of America has decided to launch a full-scale agency review to replace 27-year incumbent Foote, Cone & Belding. The shops that will not be included on the preliminary list from the Japanese car maker, now controlled by Ford Motor Co., are as unexpected as those that are.
Despite speculation that Mazda would either reassign its $250 million account to one of Ford’s global agencies or hold an internal review among Ford shops, sources close to the review said Ogilvy & Mather, which handles Ford’s Jaguar unit, will be the only Ford shop invited to pitch the account. J. Walter Thompson, which handles the Ford division, and Young & Rubicam, which has Lincoln-Mercury in the U.S., are not on the list, said sources.
Mazda, led by chief executive officer Richard Beattie, plans to contact top creative agencies from across the country. The agencies Mazda is considering contacting, said sources, are: Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore.; Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; Deutsch and Think New Ideas, both in New York and Los Angeles; GSD&M, Austin, Texas; Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, Boston; and Carmichael Lynch and Martin/Williams, both in Minneapolis.
Other contenders could include Cliff Freeman and Partners and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York; W.B. Doner, Southfield, Mich.; Kovel Kresser & Partners, Santa Monica, Calif.; and The Pearlstein Group, Los Angeles.
A review committee made up of Beattie, senior vice president and general manager George McCabe, director of marketing Ron Neale and David Ropes, director of corporate advertising at Ford, will meet this week to finalize the list, said sources.
Executives at FCB’s Santa Ana, Calif., office have shelved an idea to spin the office off to pursue the account as a separate entity, said sources. The office may be folded into FCB in Los Angeles, said managing director Welton Mansfield.