Ford creates 100 new marketing roles, moves creative work from WPP to BBDO

Following a five-month pitch process, Ford has named BBDO its global creative advertising agency and announced Wieden + Kennedy as a creative and innovation partner for specific projects. The contract starts 1 November 2018 onwards.

Ford added that WPP remains a key part of a multi-agency team, leading activation for Ford – including media planning, media buying, shopper and performance marketing, website development, customer relationship marketing as well as multicultural and Tier 2 dealer advertising.  Ford's business at WPP was handled by a specially created agency called Global Team Blue (GTB) which is made up of various WPP members from JWT, Y&R and O&M.

According to the company, this is the next step it needs to take to make its global marketing more creative, agile and efficient, while delivering a more compelling brand story and differentiated customer experiences. Ford estimates moving to a more agile marketing model represents US$150 million in annual efficiencies.

Ford also is creating more than 100 new in-house global marketing positions tied to brand design, media tools, technologies and partnerships as well as digital labs and customer experience.

The company also is leaning more heavily into emerging tools and technologies to personalise marketing communications and offers to in-market buyers, plus even greater use of digital platforms. It added that its  re-evaluation of its global marketing and advertising strategy is part of the company’s work to improve its overall fitness and "realise its ambition to become the world’s most trusted company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world".

The pitch called in April came weeks after WPP revealed its separation with chief executive Sir Martin Sorrel. According to an article on Forbes, WPP handles more than US$4 billion in advertising business for Ford globally in more than 40 countries. But other media reports at that time also stated that the review does not impact all accounts with WPP, and does not involve accounts with WPP in China, public affairs and US dealerships.

In a press release, Ford also added that it is moving to flexible vehicle architectures and more common parts across models, cutting new product development time – from sketch to dealer showroom – and reducing costs. It launched a new Enterprise Product Line Management team to meet emerging customer needs, drive top-line growth and maximise returns throughout the product portfolio.

Ford estimates moving to a more agile marketing model represents $150 million in annual efficiencies.

Marketing has reached out to BBDO for comment.