Goodyear sends its account Due North

In a move that is in stark contrast to the trend of international account alignment, Goodyear Canada has decided to give its advertising business to a small, newly formed Canadian company.Ian McIntosh, Goodyear general manager consumer marketing, confirms that beginning Aug....

In a move that is in stark contrast to the trend of international account alignment, Goodyear Canada has decided to give its advertising business to a small, newly formed Canadian company.

Ian McIntosh, Goodyear general manager consumer marketing, confirms that beginning Aug. 1 his advertising account will be in the hands of a new company, Due North Communications.

Media buying is already being handled by Optimedia, the media division of FCB Canada.

Due North was just opened in Toronto by Mark Weisbarth, formerly vice-president account director and the top-ranking account person on Goodyear at its former agency, McCann-Erickson Advertising, Toronto.

Strategic alliances

Weisbarth’s company will offer various advertising services through strategic alliances with outside sources.

Included among them is Joan McArthur, the creative director who was responsible for developing the popular Goodyear advertising that uses u.s. actor Thom Sharpe as spokesman.

McArthur was let go by McCann late last year.

The Aug. 1 turnover date comes 90 days after Goodyear fired McCann after a relationship of five years.

The Goodyear account is said to have represented about $15 million in billings and more than $1 million in revenue to McCann.

McIntosh says Due North was one of many companies that presented their credentials to Goodyear. Due North, he says, came closest to meeting Goodyear’s pre-determined needs.

‘We were looking for cost-efficiencies, senior level staff and a sincere commitment to a long-term relationship and, if possible, some continuity with the past,’ McIntosh says.

He says Due North will provide full-service to Goodyear through its core operations and various alliances, and, most importantly, will be able to do so cost-effectively.

‘I think clients are tired of paying the freight for a lot of overhead [at big, traditional ad agencies,]‘ McIntosh says.

‘I’m not singling out multinational agencies, but I am taking a shot at the process itself,’ he says. ‘Advertising agencies need to go back to doing what they do best, and that is advertising.

‘We were not upset with the people nor the advertising [at McCann.] What we’re saying, though, is that we don’t need all the extra bodies and offices and layers of departments.’

McIntosh says the decision to go with Due North was made in Canada and based on the practical needs of the company here.

(Akron, Ohio-based Goodyear uses McCann in Europe and J. Walter Thompson in the u.s.)

Weisbarth confirms many of the details about the opening of his new company, but refers all questions relating to Goodyear to McIntosh.

He says he will open with some permanent staff, and, in addition to McArthur, his outside alliances will include Virginia Dymont for media.

Dymont also formerly worked on Goodyear at McCann. Due North will work with media buying agencies best suited for each client.

The Currie Group, Toronto, is handling collateral and promotional material for Due North, and the Montreal creative team of Jean Gurtin (also a Goodyear alumnus from Marketel/McCann-Erickson) and Roger Gingras.

Weisbarth says the idea behind his company is to provide senior advertising service while keeping overhead to a minimum through, among other things, customized service alliances.