WPP to realign ad agency exclusive to Ford GTB India

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International advertising group WPP is undertaking a radical realignment of the operations of its Ford-exclusive advertising agency, GTB India, and has appointed GTB India managing partner, Babita Baruah, to a new role for the group agency International Markets Group. This follows the automaker’s announcement of a massive domestic market cut on September 9. GTB India’s structure is expected to be reworked to handle other brands, said two executives with direct knowledge of the developments.

Baruah, who was elevated to Regional Client Manager for the International Markets Group, and has been with the WPP Group since 1996 when she joined HTA (now Wunderman Thompson). She has worked on Unilever, Nestlé, Nokia and PepsiCo, among other brands.

Ford, which had an annual spend on advertising and promotions of Rs 100 crore, has also not formalized ad space bookings for the upcoming festive season, media buying officials said.

GTB, or Global Team Blue, owned by WPP, is a global Ford partner and employs around 100 people in India.

“The agency, which was exclusively on behalf of Ford India, is now expected to serve other clients from WPP’s extensive roster. The process of realignment is being worked out,” said one of the executives named above. above, asking not to be named.

GTB’s spokesman said he would not be able to comment on the developments.

Ford India’s account is shared between GTB and BBDO, both of which had posted new adverts for its brands amid the pandemic.

Last week, Ford Motor Company announced that it was “forced” to end its manufacturing operations in India and close two of its plants due to “huge accumulated losses and lack of growth in a tough market. Over the past 10 years, Ford India has recorded losses of over $2 billion. The US car major said it will only sell top-end models in the country which will be imported. “These will not require mass advertising and will be aimed at niche consumers.” says the official quoted above.

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