Although "Ford global policy" requires its vassal brands to work with WPP Group agencies, the plight of Jaguar, Ford's former British auto icon, is so dire that this longstanding rule may be waived, according to Jaguar Cars North America spokesman James Thomas.
Currently, all elements of the global account are serviced by divisions of Young & Rubicam Brands, but the creative and direct-marketing portions of the business - estimated annual spend over $100 million (€77.29m; £53.93m) - could quit the WPP fold.
Jaguar's Thomas revealed in a statement that the carmaker has received the green light from Ford's front office to consider "not necessarily just WPP agencies".
The outcome of the review will be announced by the end of March. Whatever the result, the media elements of the account will continue to be divided between WPP's MindShare and Mediaedge:cia.
The move to mull shops beyond the WPP empire follows the appointment of Stephen Perrin, who last week moved from director of strategy to global marketing director, replacing Martin Runnacles, now departed the beleaguered luxury automaker.
Jaguar's much hyped new X-Type model met with disappointing reviews and even more disappointing sales. And in the wake of "unsustainable losses" announced in September, the brand said it will re-evaluate many aspects of its operations.
Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff