Following a comprehensive advertising agency review, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) announced that WPP Group has officially taken over as its full-service marketing-communications partner. 

The $150 million Mazda advertising account is shifting from Southfield, Michigan based independent agency W.B. Doner & Co. to a consortium of WPP Group agencies in California that will rely heavily on a template created in metro Detroit.

Mazda said in June that it was shifting its account after 15 years from Doner, to London-based WPP Group, whose subsidiaries locally handle Ford Motor Co.'s advertising.

Some of the Mazda work, such as media buying, already was handled by WPP's Dearborn, Michigan based Team Detroit.

According to Crains Detroit Business, WPP is setting up near Mazda's Irvine, Calif., headquarters what it calls Team Mazda, a dedicated facility housing a collection of the advertising holding company's specialized agencies that will service the account. The new team is based on WPP’s Team Detroit which handles the Ford account. The Mazda creative will be handled in California while a cadre of WPP Group staffers handle functions such as media buying from Detroit.

New York based D’Exposito & Partners handles Mazda’s U.S. Hispanic account.

WPP is still deciding which of its hundreds of agencies will handle Mazda, but it's known they won't be the five that make up Team Detroit: JWT, Young & Rubicam, Wunderman, Ogilvy & Mather and MindShare.

Traditionally, advertising companies don't handle more than one automotive account in the same office, but WPP will use different agencies in California than in Detroit, and Ford maintains an equity stake in Mazda.

Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor in Mexico City.

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