FOUNTAIN VALLEY, California: So taken was Hyundai Motor America with its ad agency's director of brand planning, Joel Ewanick, that he was heisted from Dallas-based Richards Group to become the automaker's vice president of marketing.

It looks to be a win/win situation for all three parties.

Enthuses Steve Wilhite, Hyundai chief operating officer, to whom Ewanick will report: "Joel has demonstrated innovative and creative marketing approaches during the time he has worked with us while at Richards."

According to Nielsen Monitor-Plus, Hyundai spent $560 million (€432.03m; £287.6m) on US advertising during the first eleven months of 2006. Despite which sales remained static.

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