Chrysler in Brand Marketing Rethink

21 June 2002

‘We got it wrong,’ said Chrysler Group (in effect) of its year-old brand marketing structure.

The US arm of the German/American automotive giant held a high level meeting Thursday to resolve problems arising within its internal marketing structure.

This time last year, Tom Marinelli and Jim Julow, respective vice presidents global brand centers for Jeep and Dodge, were deprived of responsibility for their brands’ advertising. The idea being to hone focus on the nuts and bolts of the marques, their pricing and future models.

However, insiders say the brand marketing roles – but not both their incumbents – are set to regain key advertising responsibilities. The grapevine has it that Marinelli will retain his position while Julow may be moved sideways or retire.

In a related move, the position of vp marketing communications is axed and its occupant Jeff Bell will move into the Dodge brand hotseat.

Prior to a formal announcement, Chrysler has zipped its lips. “We are not going to talk about any employee meeting,” said a terse spokesperson.

09.00 BST, 21-Jun-02

Chrysler today issued a statement largely confirming these changes, which are intended to consolidate marketing and product planning structures into three Vehicle Brand Teams.

Tom Marinelli heads the Chrysler brand; Jeff Bell, Jeep; and Darryl Jackson, Dodge. All have vice presidential status and will report to senior vp global marketing George Murphy.

According to, each of the trio will be supported by a marketing communication and advertising/marketing agency team, a dealer marketing programs department and a newly-assigned marketing and product planning director.

As already reported, Jim Julow, who led the Dodge global brand center, moves sideways to head the marketing of group motorsports and performance vehicle activities.

Says Chrysler Group executive vice president-global sales and marketing Jim Schroer: “This gives everyone in our organization – as well as our dealers – one place to go on all decisions regarding each brand.”

It is uncertain what impact the upheaval will have on Chrysler agency BBDO, which said it was examining the situation.

Data sourced from: Multiple publications; additional content by WARC staff