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The Dude
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MARKETING: Automaker spent $150M on second-quarter ad campaign
By Michael Volpe

Orange County Business Journal Staff


Hyundai commercial by Goodby, Silverstein: World Marketing takes over business in first quarter
World Marketing Group is about to become the biggest local advertising agency you’ve never heard of.

The Irvine company is on track to be the largest advertising agency in the county when it takes over work for the U.S. arm of South Korea’s Hyundai Motor Corp.

Last year, Fountain Valley-based Hyundai Motor America Inc. spent about $450 million on advertising. In the second quarter, it spent $147 million, down 10% from a year earlier.

Work for the automaker stands to leapfrog World Marketing past the top advertising agencies here. According to the Business Journal’s March list of the top ad agencies in Orange County, the Irvine office of Young & Rubicam Brands was No. 1 with $384 million in 2007 capitalized billings, a measure of revenue for ad agencies.

At No. 2 was the Newport Beach office of W.B. Doner & Co. at $350 million.

World Marketing wasn’t even on our most recent list.

That’s because the company’s Irvine office hasn’t done creative ad work before. Up to now, the office planned and bought ad space for Hyundai.

San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has done Hyundai’s commercials, print ads and other spots since 2007. The agency is set to hand over creative work for Hyundai to World Marketing in the first quarter.

Hyundai essentially is taking the work in house.

World Marketing is part of South Korea’s Innocean Worldwide Inc., which is owned by Seoul-based Hyundai. Innocean already handles Hyundai’s advertising across much of the world.

“At the end of the day, it is more about the need to move and talk with one voice around the world,” said Joel Ewanick, vice president of marketing for Hyundai Motor America Inc.

The automaker has made similar moves in other markets.

In Europe, Hyundai recently moved its $20 million account from London’s Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest, part of London-based Chime Communications PLC, to the European division of Innocean.

London-base M&C Saatchi PLC is keeping Hyundai’s advertising in Britain while working with Innocean in the rest of Europe.

Like M&C Saatchi, Goodby will stay on Hyundai’s U.S. account to help the automaker and World Marketing during a transition. That includes working on an upcoming Super Bowl spot for the Hyundai Genesis coupe.

Goodby also could keep some creative work for online ads, according to industry sources.

Creative Team

The Irvine office of World Marketing has been around for five years and is run by Chief Executive William Y.W. Lee. He and others at World Marketing declined to talk for this story.

In May, World Marketing hired Jim Sanfilippo, who had worked for Hyundai while at New York-based Bates Worldwide Inc., now part of Britain’s WPP Group PLC.

Sanfilippo also was a vice president at Irvine-based Kia Motors America Inc., also part of Hyundai.

World Marketing isn’t known for creative work and is expected to expand its team further. Some in the industry wonder if Hyundai jumped the gun shifting work to World Marketing before it had fully built up its creative team.

Hyundai still could tap outside agencies for help. Or World Marketing could call on Innocean offices around the world.

The automaker has been paring back advertising but not as much as others. The company picked up commercial time abandoned by General Motors Corp. for the Super Bowl and Academy Awards in February, according to trade publication Advertising Age.
 
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