Irvine-based Mazda North American Operations has awarded its $150 million yearly advertising account to Dearborn, Mich.-based Team Detroit.
The advertising group, part of Britain’s WPP PLC, won the account after the automaker launched an advertising review in March.
The win ends a 13-year relationship with the Newport Beach office of Southfield, Mich.-based advertising agency Doner Co.
The local Doner office had handled the account for the U.S. arm of Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp. since 1997.
Earlier this year, Mazda hired Boston-based firm Pile and Co. to oversee an advertising review that included Doner.
“We undertook an agency review as a process check, to ensure our company is properly positioned for substantial growth in North America,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief executive of Mazda’s U.S. arm.
Team Detroit already handles the bulk of Ford Motor Co.’s advertising duties. The automaker has a 11% stake in Mazda, which may have helped in selecting the WPP group.
It’s unclear if WPP’s advertising shops will establish an office near the automaker as many of WPP’s firms already have Los Angeles and Orange County offices.
The selection is a blow to Doner, one of the largest ad agencies operating in the county. Doner opened its office here to serve Mazda.
The agency created commercials for Mazda and bought airtime and other ad space for the automaker.
Doner is known for its “Zoom, Zoom” line used in much of Mazda’s commercials and print ads.
The phrase became a bit of pop culture in the past decade.
Mazda intends to keep Doner’s “Zoom, Zoom” tagline.