Ford, the automaker, has named BBDO as its new global brand creative agency following a review, and has also revealed plans to expand its in-house marketing capabilities.

BBDO, which is owned by Omnicom Group, is taking over creative responsibilities from WPP Group, as reported by Advertising Age. The review process began in April.

WPP, which manages Ford’s business through its dedicated Global Team Blue unit, will retain media, shopper marketing and customer relationship management duties. Multicultural and “tier 2” dealer advertising are staying at WPP, too.

Additionally, Wieden+Kennedy, an independent agency, is set to handle creative and innovation responsibilities on specific projects for Ford.

Beyond recalibrating its agency mix, the carmaker will augment its in-house marketing muscle by creating over 100 internal positions covering areas like brand design, media tools, partnerships, technology, customer experience and digital labs.

Another goal of the auto giant’s new agency model will be generating $150m in annual savings. Cost reductions are a key part of a wider corporate transformation at Ford, which also involves a greater focus on trucks and SUVs and the phasing out of some vehicles.

“Ford already is one of the most recognized and respected brands in the world,” Joy Falotico, Ford's group vice president/CMO, said, as quoted by the Wall Street Journal.

“In this pivotal moment of reinvention and transformation, we're excited to partner with world-class creative agencies to unlock the full potential of the iconic Blue Oval.”

Certain portions of Ford’s activity did not feature in the agency review, such as its Chinese operations and its dealer business in the US. Lincoln, the high-end auto marque, was not included, either.

Figures from Advertising Age’s Data Center pegged Ford’s US advertising spend at $2.4bn for 2017, with $893m going to its eponymous brand. The automotive group reported global advertising costs of $4.1bn for last year.

“Today is a big, big day. We have a wonderful new brand to help build,” Andrew Robertson, president/CEO of BBDO Worldwide, said of its new relationship with Ford.

“I could not be more proud of the hundreds of people around the world who made this happen, or more grateful to Ford for their confidence in us.”

Sourced from Advertising Age/Wall Street Journal; additional content by WARC staff