Ford's $5bn Dollar (Marketing) Man

16 October 2007

DEARBORN, Michigan: Jim Farley, recently poached from Toyota by the Ford Motor Company to head global marketing, has been handed a massive $5.1 billion (€3.58bn; £2.49bn) budget with which to fulfil his mission.

The former chief of the Japanese giant's Lexus brand in the US starts with his new employer next month, with 3.2% of Ford's total global revenue at his disposal in order to reverse the firm's ailing fortunes.

His role is to work with the "worldwide business unit leaders and global product development organization", with a "significant voice" in the automaker's marketing, PR communications and product planning, says ceo Alan Mulally.

Farley's big budget has an equally big job to do. Ford now lags Toyota as number three in US autosales. The latter shifted two million vehicles in the first nine months of the year, up 3.8%, compared with the former's 1.97m, a slide of 13.3%.

David Murphy, formerly at Saatchi & Saatchi in Los Angeles, worked with Farley. He described him in glowing terms as an "immense talent" and expected him to "shake up the marketing culture" at both Ford and its advertising agencies.

Adds automotive consultant John Casesa: "Until now, people wouldn't leave Japanese car companies to come to Detroit because it was thought of as a sinking ship. This sends a huge signal, a very bullish signal about the revival of the domestic auto industry."

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff