Ford has selected Omnicom’s BBDO as its lead creative advertising agency in a blow to its partner of 75 years, WPP.
The British group, the world’s largest advertising company, is on their way to rebuild after the sudden departure of its founder Martin Sorrell previously this year.
New boss Mark Read is preparing fresh investment in the creative talent of its huge agencies as the broader industry goes through a duration of unprecedented change. Clients are progressively taking work in house and using the giant online platforms of Google and Facebook to reach clients.
Named as 2018 Network of the Year at the annual Cannes awards, the New York-based BBDO switches WPP on the creative front at Ford from November 1, while independent agency Wieden + Kennedy are also going to be a creative partner on some projects.
WPP, which has collaborated with Ford since 1943, has however kept much of Ford’s most profitable work, such as media planning and purchasing and customer retention after a five-month review by the automaker.
It also frees up the group to bid more aggressively for collaboration with other carmakers. Its shares dropped 0.9 percent at 0930 GMT.
Liberum analyst Ian Whittaker stated the financial impact on WPP would be limited, as it had lost only less profitable creative work, although the selection could spark concerns as to whether it is the start of the end for WPP’s tight relationship with Ford.
“The greater impact is more symbolic than anything else – Ford has been WPP’s flagship client and, with the departure of Martin Sorrell, there will be inevitable questions over whether that was a reason,” he stated.