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Mitsubishi Opens Competition for Account

December 06, 1997|(Denise Gellene)

Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America, unable to select a single agency to handle its coveted $60-million to $80-million retail advertising business, said two agencies would compete for each of the 40 regional accounts that make up the retail business. Those agencies are Deutsch LA and a team consisting of Grey Advertising in Los Angeles and Zimmerman & Partners in Florida--which separately handle several regional accounts. Mitsubishi initially planned to consolidate regional advertising, which has been handled by several agencies around the country. While Deutsch was the front-runner, a stalemate was declared when a 14-member committee consisting of factory and dealer representatives could not reach a unanimous vote. The agencies will begin squaring off for the business in January, with Los Angeles--a region currently handled by Grey--coming up for grabs first. Mitsubishi is reducing the number of agencies it uses in order to have a more consistent advertising message. G2, a sister agency of Grey, handles Mitsubishi's brand advertising. . . . J. Walter Thompson named veteran ad executive Peter Stranger, 48, president of a full-service office it is opening in Los Angeles, as the agency moves to reestablish itself in the city after a three-year absence. Stranger most recently headed the $200-million Taco Bell account at Bozell Worldwide in Costa Mesa, which the agency lost earlier this year to TBWA Chiat/Day. Before that, he headed Stranger & Associates, a successor to Della Femina McNamee L.A., known for the Joe Isuzu advertising campaign. The J. Walter Thompson Los Angeles office will handle four accounts: 20th Century-Fox, Saban Entertainment, Fox Kids Network and Bandai America, though the creative work on Bandai will continue to be handled out of JWT's Chicago office.

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