Bits and pieces are emerging about what seems to be a somewhat fraught relationship between Ford and WPP following WPP’s statement earlier that the two were discussing marketing plans from 2018 with no decision as yet.
Ford has now said in a statement that: “We value the talented and creative men and women at WPP. They are trusted partners and curators of the Ford brand. As we are across the Ford business, we are exploring options to improve the fitness of our marketing and advertising operations. No decisions have been made.”
Ford has a new CEO in Jim Hackett and new CMO in Kumar Galhota. It says it’s trying to improve its “digital experience.” It has just hired New York shop Laundry Service to work on luxury brand Lincoln, hitherto the exclusive preserve of WPP’s Hudson Rouge agency.
Ford, like most car companies and indeed most legacy marketing businesses, is trying to save money so, no doubt, there’s some fierce horse trading with WPP on the way. In 2016 Ford spent about $4bn on advertising according to Ad Age, mostly with WPP’s bespoke GTB creative agency and Mindshare.