Search is on for Toyota project PR

LOS ANGELES: Toyota Motor Sales has launched a nationwide search

for a full-service PR firm to assist with several upcoming special


According to national public affairs director Joe Tetherow, who is

working with Southern California consultant Jerry Swerling on the

review, Toyota has narrowed its focus to strong consumer-oriented firms

with Southern California operations.

While Tetherow would not disclose names of firms that had received RFPs,

it is widely believed that both Golin/Harris and Stoorza have made the

shortlist - Golin because of its past experience with DaimlerChrysler

and strong Los Angeles consumer team, and Stoorza because it made the

finals of the Hyundai pitch, another recent review run by Swerling.

Other likely candidates with substantial Los Angeles operations, such as

Edelman Worldwide, Hill & Knowlton and Ketchum, were all ruled out due

to client conflicts - Nissan, Mazda and Hyundai respectively. BSMG,

which received Toyota's initial RFP, has not made it to the final stage

of the review.

Tetherow did not disclose any specifics about why Toyota had decided to

enlist a national agency for the first time. 'The company has grown, and

there are some opportunities we want to take advantage of in the

future,' he said. A final decision is expected by early June.

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