DIRECT: Mazda outsources £1m work for key launches

Japanese car manufacturer Mazda is reviewing its £1m direct

marketing business in reversal of the company's tradition of handling DM

in-house.



Mazda has invited Harrison Troughton Wunderman, Joshua, Black Cat and

AGA to pitch for the account with a brief to promote key model launches

in 2002 and 2003.



The review is being headed by Mazda UK marketing director Rob Lindley,

who joined the firm in August from Ford Motor Company, and customer

relationship management manager Michael Davey.



It has been triggered by the establishment of Mazda UK, a subsidiary of

Mazda Japan which has been taken over distribution of Mazda in the UK

from importer MCL.



MCL used in-house marketing services agency Amethyst to handle data and

creative direct marketing work for Mazda.



Amethyst will be retained on the data side to manage Mazda's UK CRM

database, Adapt.



The four agencies are being asked to present ideas for strategic and

creative development for Mazda as it prepares for the launch next year

of the Mazda 6, a family car that will compete with the Nissan Vectra

and the Ford Mondeo.



A revamped version of the MPV people carrier will be unveiled in

2002.



The following year Mazda, is to launch a replacement for the Demio, a

four-seater sports car that will aim to rival the Audi TT. The RX8, the

next-generation version of the RX7, will also be unveiled in 2003.



Mazda's brand advertising is handled by J Walter Thompson, with media

through MindShare.



Last week Mazda promoted North American marketing boss and chief

operating officer Steve Odell to president of Mazda Motor Europe, to

which Mazda UK reports.



Odell, who is to be replaced by Ford UK marketing director John Mendel,

presided over the car-maker's 'Zoom Zoom' ad campaign in the US, and

will oversee its implementation in the UK and Europe.



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