Jaguar Leaps on Euro RSCG

24 March 2005

In an indication that Havas' run of bad luck has finally changed, its flagship Euro RSCG network on Wednesday successfully leashed Jaguar, the luxury car unit of the Ford Motor Company.

The creative and strategic business, reportedly worth an annual $100 million (€76.89m; £53.4m), was formerly in the remit of WPP Group, historically Ford's preferred agency holding group.

Former incumbent Young & Rubicam did not compete to retain the account, although two other WPP shops - JWT and Berlin Cameron/Red Cell - pitched for the business, as did Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners and London agencies M&C Saatchi and Leagas Delaney.

Observers of the agency scene wonder if this might be the first crack in the seemingly impregnable hold enjoyed by WPP's Sir Martin Sorrell on the Ford business.

Many, including the recently retired Ford president and Jaguar boss Nick Scheele, have attempted unsuccessfully to insert a wedge in the relationship between Sir Martin and Ford's senior management.

Meantime, Jaguar continues to flounder in a sea of red ink, missed sales targets and an abandoned business plan. It has also halted production at its historic Coventry plant in the UK and dumped plans for 40% sales growth in 2005.

Few doubt Euro RSCG can produce compelling ads. But many wonder if it is also a miracle worker?

Data sourced from Financial Times Online; additional content by WARC staff