NEW YORK (April 9, 2012) — Leo Burnett USA has picked up the creative advertising account for the Firestone brand after a review.
The Publicis Groupe agency succeeds independent advertising/marketing agency Richards Group Inc., which has handled creative for Bridgestone Americas since 2006, including a long-running Super Bowl halftime sponsorship. Dallas-based Richards Group will retain the Bridgestone brand work.
Firestone's review was led by Boston-based consultancy Pile & Co. The scope of the work is expected to include creative for Firestone's retail tire operation, as well as its Complete Auto Care retail business. Publicis Groupe's Razorfish handles digital work for the brand.
The shift comes after Bridgestone Americas in November handed Optimedia its media-buying and -planning account.
“This is an exciting time for our company as we look to invest more in our Firestone tire brand,” said Philip Dobbs, Bridgestone Americas' chief marketing officer, in a statement. “We're also excited to have an agency focused on our retail brand — 2,200 stores strong — and bringing fresh thinking to our business and ultimately even deeper meaning to our brand.”
Rich Stoddart, president at Chicago-based Leo Burnett USA, said that executives at Firestone “believe in this brand.” He added that he's confident “they're going to invest, and they're going to bring this brand into a place of real relevance in the consumer's mind.”
Picking up the Firestone business is the latest account addition for Leo Burnett, following Avis, Nintendo's Wii U console, Chobani, Fifth Third Bancorp, Esurance, Dewar's and MillerCoors' Fosters, Molson and Sparks brands.
Bridgestone spent nearly $118 million on measured media in the U.S. last year on the Firestone and Bridgestone brands, according to Kantar Media, a subsidiary of advertising and marketing communications services firm WPP. Much of the Nashville, Tenn.-based tire maker's budget has been dedicated to Super Bowl buys, and the sponsorship deal with the NFL will be in effect through the 2014-15 season.
This report appeared on the website of Advertising Age, a New York City-based sister publication of Tire Business.