New Firestone ads will use Andrettis

NASHVILLE, TN: Bridgestone/Firestone has unveiled the celebrity

spokespeople for its first national ad campaign since last year's US

recall of 14.4 million tires, a move predicted by PRWeek (March 12).

Late last week, Ketchum set up interviews for top Firestone executives

to talk about the effort, the first phase of which will feature John

Lampe, Firestone president and CEO. Celebrity father and son racecar

drivers Mario and Michael Andretti will spearhead the second phase. The

Andrettis have been associated with the Firestone brand for decades but

have never served as spokespeople.

Opting out of a press conference format, Ketchum set up one-on-one

interviews for Lampe and Shu Ishibashi, Firestone EVP and US

consumer-tires group president, with tire industry trades, advertising

trades and national newspapers.

The first phase of the ad campaign began April 6 with print and


The second phase will debut in early May. Ketchum VP Christopher Doherty

said the message will be tire safety. A brochure detailing the ads and

where to see them will be sent to the brand's 10,000-plus dealers.

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