The Chrysler Group unit of auto giant DaimlerChrysler has appointed Westport, Connecticut’s Fusion 5 – the North American arm of London’s Added Value Group – as its brand marketing consultant. Terms of the multiyear contract have not been disclosed.

Fusion 5 is charged with generating non-advertising programs and strategies. One such task, said Chrysler’s senior vp–global brand marketing George Murphy, will be the development of local marketing schemes for the company’s new regional structure – a similar task to that undertaken by Fusion 5 for Coca-Cola and RJR Nabisco.

Chrysler will also use the consultancy to help with the Chrysler PT Cruiser marque in Europe.

Murphy and Jim Schroer, executive vp–sales and marketing, have worked with Fusion 5 before, during their time at rival auto firm Ford – which the duo left to join Chrysler in February [WAMN: 21-Feb-01].

The consultancy will work closely with creative agency PentaMark, the shop founded by BBDO Worldwide when it won Chrysler’s consolidated ad duties last year [WAMN: 06-Nov-01] – before Murphy and Schroer took charge. The relationship between PentaMark and Fusion 5 is as yet unclear, though Murphy did comment that the former “will do all the leg work” of the latter’s strategic planning.

Maybe not 100% coincidentally, PentaMark’s executive vp–strategic planning Bill Hackett retired early last week. Murphy commented that he had never met Hackett, and would not speculate on any connection between his departure and the hiring of Fusion 5.

News source: Advertising Age - Daily Deadline