Ad agency drops Goodyear account
AKRON—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.
Goodyear had been reviewing six ad agencies for its $60 million North American tire account and expects to hire a firm by late March. A Goodyear spokesman confirmed published reports that the company has cut that list to four firms: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco; GSD&M in Austin, Tex.; and two New York-based agencies: McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising and BBDO Worldwide.
A-Z Formen forms U.S. branch
AKRON—German-based extruder and tire mold maker A-Z Formen-und Maschinenbau GmbH has established a new U.S. unit in Akron to strengthen service to customers as well as create a presence in the North American market.
The company markets extrusion systems to both the new tire and retreading industries.
Walter Seidel is president and sales manager of the new company, A-Z Americas L.L.C., which said it plans to stock spare parts for its equipment and will be the clearing house for all service calls.
Michelin seeks new ad agency
GREENVILLE, S.C.—Michelin North America Inc. is looking for a new agency to handle its $30 million Michelin brand advertising account in the U.S.
Due to what it called "creative differences," Michelin said it is severing ties with DDB New York, its agency of record for 17 years and creator, in 1983, of Michelin's safety-oriented "baby campaign."
The decision to evaluate new agencies reflects a significant shift in the company's brand marketing strategy, said Scott Clark, vice president of marketing.
Michelin will expand its approach to marketing beyond pure mass communications to an integrated mass media and relationship strategy, he said.
Michelin and DDB will continue to work together, he added, while Michelin identifies a search consultant and conducts a review of the U.S. Michelin brand account.
RubberNetwork site online
ATLANTA—RubberNetwork.com L.L.C., a global electronic purchasing and procurement marketplace created by six leading tire and rubber companies, has put its Web site online in preparation to start business by April.
The electronic marketplace initially will focus on the purchasing services of its founders and other industry participants. Beyond procurement services, RubberNetwork said it will offer marketplace solutions such as e-catalogs, auctions, reverse auctions, requests for proposals and quotes and supply chain management.
RubberNetwork is owned and operated by Continental A.G., Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., Goodyear, Pirelli S.p.A., Group Michelin and Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
GM recalling Caddy models
WASHINGTON—General Motors Corp. has recalled 2,807 Cadillac limousines, hearses and armored vehicles, model years 2000-2001, and 2,075 of Cadillac's 2001-model Sevilles.
The company said the vehicles' have incorrect tire pressure labels.
GM will provide owners with new labels, according to the national Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Sears eyeing Wards sites
HOFFMAN ESTATES, Ill.—Sears, Roebuck and Co. confirmed it is looking at some Montgomery Ward & Co. stores that are being liquidated across the country.
However, a spokeswoman would not say whether Sears may acquire any of Ward's tire and auto centers. Last December, Wards announced it was closing all 250 of its stores, including 234 Wards Express Tire and Auto Centers.