by MarkLives (@marklives) Following a five-month process, Ford Motor Company has announced a global redesign of its marketing operations. BBDO becomes its global lead creative agency, with Wieden+Kennedy joining as innovation partner for specific projects.

BBDO begins transitioning to its new role on 1 November 2018, working closely with Ford’s team of ad agencies and company marketing experts. Ford will introduce a new US brand campaign later this month, supporting a series of Ford vehicles.


WPP, which used to hold the creative account through GTB (Global Team Blue), remains a part of Ford’s multi-agency team, leading activation (including media planning, media buying, shopper and performance marketing, website development, customer relationship marketing and multicultural and Tier 2 dealer advertising).

AdAge quotes Pivotal Research senior analyst, Brian Wieser, as saying “that an account of that size would generate between [US]$500 million and [US]$600 million in annual revenue,” suggesting that just less than half would be leaving WPP. Ford was WPP’s largest client. According to AdAge, Ford’s China business, public affairs, the US dealer business and Lincoln brand were excluded from the agency review.

The motor company also announced it’s creating more than 100 new in-house marketing positions tied to brand design, media tools and partnerships, digital labs and more. It aims to yield US$150m in efficiencies annually through the redesign.


“Over the past five months, WPP has been working with Ford Motor Company on its future marketing and advertising relationships,” said WPP in a media statement. “At the conclusion of the review, WPP will be responsible for activating the Ford brand through key channels and regions, through its global Ford agency GTB as well as other WPP agencies, while Ford has appointed another agency as its lead creative agency.

“WPP agencies will continue to handle activation, including media planning and buying, digital and production. These responsibilities also include Tier Two advertising work in the U.S., the China advertising operations with its joint venture partner, all Lincoln advertising, and all the Ford public relations business.

“WPP will work closely with Ford on the shape of its future relationship and the impact on its people.”

Reducing costs

The marketing redesign comes as Ford prepares to launch a raft of new products in the US and elsewhere, according to Joy Falotico, Ford group vice president and chief marketing officer. Ford is also moving to flexible vehicle architectures and more common parts across models, cutting new product development time — from sketch to dealer showroom — and reducing costs.


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