AKRON (Feb. 2, 2001)—After a 15-year relationship with Goodyear, Detroit-based J. Walter Thompson Co. (JWT) has cut its ties to the tire maker by declining to participate in an advertising agency review.
JWT won the Goodyear performance and motorsports account in late 1985 and created the recent "Serious Freedom" campaign.
The tire maker currently is reviewing six ad agencies for its North American tire business and expects to hire a firm by late March. A Goodyear spokesman confirmed that those agencies are: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco; GSD&M in Austin, Tex.; Fallon Worldwide in Minneapolis; and three New York-based agencies: McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising, Young & Rubicam Advertising and BBDO Worldwide.
Goodyear initiated a review of ad agencies following an October meeting in Akron between President and COO Robert Keegan and JWT´s executives. JWT reportedly shot down its own campaign, insulting Goodyear´s marketing team in front of its new boss, according to Advertising Age, a sister publication to Tire Business.
However, the Goodyear spokesman told Tire Business the decision to review was made in advance of that particular meeting and had nothing to do with the incident reported by Ad Age.
Goodyear´s annual ad billings have been estimated at $60 million.