WPP Reorganizes for Ford's Future

16 January 2006

London-headquartered global advertising conglomerate WPP Group is restructuring a number of its US offices to set up a one-stop shop to service the Ford Motor Company in its home town of Dearborn, Michigan.

WPP's Dearborn operation will draw resources from the Detroit offices of JWT and sibling Ford Motor Media, plus Ogilvy & Mather and Young and Rubicam brands - already Dearborn-based.

There are also a number of newly-created dedicated Ford units: Shared Media Services, Brand Experience Services and Shared Administrative Services.

Staff will be employed by their current agencies but will report to the heads of the new units.

In light of Ford's profit slump and sales struggles [WAMN: 21-July-05], cost cutting appears to be at the root of this marketing services consolidation.

Not so, avers Satesh Korde, president of WPP Team Ford: "We would have done it even if Ford was doing great." The move is aimed at "sharing best practice".

But it will have implications for agency staffing levels and Korde admits there will be some comings and goings.

Mark Fields, Ford's president of the Americas, says: "A laser-like focus on our customers and brands is at the heart of our plan to put Ford on offense. Having all of our agency partners in one building will provide the collaboration we need to help make that happen."

Data sourced from AdAge (USA); additional content by WARC staff