Nissan chooses Allen Lewis Agency as multicultural AOR

The Allen Lewis Agency will lead all of Nissan's multicultural communications in the U.S. during the three-year assignment.

FRANKLIN, TN: Nissan has appointed The Allen Lewis Agency as its multicultural AOR after a competitive bid process.

Allen Lewis will lead all of Nissan’s multicultural communications in the U.S. during the three-year assignment, the agency said Monday in a statement. The agency, based in metropolitan Detroit, will focus on engaging African-American, Asian, and Hispanic media and influencers. It will also be responsible for PR strategy and outreach to women and the LGBTQ audience.

The team working on Nissan’s multicultural account will include agency cofounders Jocelyn Allen and Chandra Lewis, along with four colleagues in Detroit, Chicago, Miami, and Los Angeles.

Allen said she looked beyond her firm for staffers to work on the Nissan account.

"When we got this proposal, we asked, ‘Who are the best people in the country to do this? I don’t care if they don’t work with us,’" she said. "This team was handpicked for this assignment."

Nissan will continue to work with Los Angeles-based consultant Calvin Fleming on its LGBTQ media and influencer outreach alongside Allen Lewis.

Nissan has the most diverse U.S. customer base of any automaker, with 38% of its car-buyers coming from diverse backgrounds, according to research firm IHS. Kristina Adamski, director of Nissan group communications, said the automaker has sponsored LGBT pride events and Mexican soccer games in the U.S. Adamski said she hopes Allen Lewis will develop a diverse audience using traditional and social media.

"We want to continue the growth," she said. "We have a lot of success already on the board with multicultural audiences."

Allen Lewis is replacing Cohn & Wolfe, which Nissan hired as its Hispanic AOR in late 2013. Adamski explained that the carmaker had several agencies working on multicultural communications and needed to consolidate, so Allen Lewis will be covering all of its multicultural communications. Nissan’s general PR AOR in the U.S. is Stratacomm.

Omnicom Group created a multidisciplinary agency team, known as Nissan United, to handle the bulk of the automaker’s marketing and communications in late 2013.

Nissan restructured its pan-European communications team last month. The company’s former Japan-based VP of global communications, Jeff Kuhlman, left the company last September to return to the U.S. for family reasons. He joined Bentley Motors as CCO for the Americas last November.

This story was updated on June 14 with quotes from Adamski and Allen.

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