Ford Motor Co.'s surprising move last week to replace WWP with Omnicom's BBDO as its lead global creative agency upends a relationship that began 75 years ago.
At that time, Ford's agency was J. Walter Thompson and Henry Ford still was running the automaker. WPP and its predecessor produced such memorable taglines as "There's a Ford in your future," "Ford has a better idea," "Built Ford tough" and, of course, "Have you driven a Ford ... lately?"
In the automaker's early days, Henry Ford employed J. Walter Thompson to sell Model T's, but they parted ways after just two years. Three decades later, as Ford began planning for his company to resume full production after World War II, he was reassured that a big ad agency wouldn't cost more than a small one. He declared, "Well, we might as well have a big one."