Ford unveils BBDO as new creative team after 75 years with WPP

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Ford has selected BBDO as its new lead creative agency, concluding a global review launched in April. The move marks a major defeat for WPP, which has been Ford’s lead advertising partner for more than seven decades and counts the automaker as its largest global client.

BBDO begins transitioning to the new role on Nov. 1, working closely with the rest of Ford’s agency roster and its internal marketing team. Omnicom-owned digital experience agency Organic and TLGG Consulting will be part of the team handling the business.

The automotive giant also selected Wieden+Kennedy as an innovation partner for selected projects and introduced a new agency model. The independent agency will manage the account out of its New York office.

WPP’s dedicated network GTB will remain part of Ford’s team, leading activation, media buying and planning around the world in addition to shopper and performance marketing, website development, customer relationship marketing, multicultural and Tier 2 dealer advertising.

“Ford already is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world,” said Joy Falotico, Ford group vice president and chief marketing officer, in a statement. “In this pivotal moment of reinvention and transformation, we’re excited to partner with world-class creative agencies to unlock the full potential of the iconic Blue Oval.”

Today is a big big day. We have a wonderful new brand to help build. I could not be more proud of the hundreds of people around the world who made this happen, or more grateful to Ford for their confidence in us,” added BBDO Worldwide president and CEO Andrew Robertson.

Neal Arthur, managing director of W+K New York, said, “Working together to help build the future of the Ford Motor Company is as big, as interesting and as exciting as it gets. They have the people, the brand and the vision to lead the industry and we’re humbled to be able to play a role at this moment in their history.”

As part of its new agency model, Ford is also investing in over 100 new in-house marketing positions across areas including brand design, digital labs and media tools and partnerships. According to a statement, the new marketing approach is expected to save $150 million in efficiencies for Ford annually.

A spokesperson for GTB referred to WPP.

“As you all know, we gave this review everything we had: it was an extraordinary effort by the entire global team over many, many months,” wrote GTB CEO Satish Korde in an internal memo sent to employees. “We accept this difficult decision with our heads held high and thank everyone for their contributions.”

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