FRANKLIN, TN: Nissan North America has selected Cohn & Wolfe as its Hispanic AOR for the US following a competitive review.
Cohn & Wolfe, which began working on the business last month, is leading the account from its New York and Los Angeles offices, said Kerri Allen, VP at the agency and head of its cross-cultural practice, Infuse.
Representatives from Nissan were not available for comment.
San Antonio-based The Cartel Group's Impacto division previously served as Nissan North America's US Hispanic PR AOR since 2008. That relationship ended in 2012.
With a core team of five staffers on the account, Cohn & Wolfe's duties include strategic positioning, media relations, event support, and social media counsel in collaboration with Nissan's multicultural firm Team Ignition.
The WPP Group agency will aim to “invigorate Nissan in the young Hispanic market,” especially among women, Allen explained. She said the brand is focused on reaching young Hispanic women who are looking for cars with style, security, and an “accessible luxury feel,” as well as good gas mileage.
“We know [young Latina women] are making a lot of decisions, not just for themselves but as young professionals, as mothers, and as key decision makers in their households,” Allen added.
The firm will engage with media outside of the automotive sector, such as lifestyle, beauty, and fashion outlets, she said.
Cohn & Wolfe will also work on thought leadership efforts with the company to highlight some of Nissan's bilingual and Hispanic executives.
During the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week, the agency held a Hispanic media luncheon for Nissan. It will also host events at the upcoming Chicago and New York Auto Shows, Allen said.
The contract length and budget information on the account were not disclosed.
Last October, Omnicom Group created a multidisciplinary agency team called Nissan United as part of a new multiyear agreement with the Japanese automaker. The firms working on the team include communications agency Emanate, creative shop TBWA, media firm OMD, branding agency Interbrand, and Japanese ad agency Hakuhodo.
The formation of the Omnicom team and the announcement of a multiyear deal between Nissan and the holding company came more than two months after Omnicom and rival Publicis Groupe said they would merge, creating a $23 billion marketing services umbrella group.
“We congratulate Nissan for wanting to get back on track. Our nearly four years as the Hispanic AOR for PR…allowed us to begin building some pretty strong bridges with the Hispanic community's leaders and put a real presence for Nissan on the streets as well as in Hispanic hearts with powerful results,” said Victoria Varela, CEO of Impacto. “So it was very sad when they choose to walk away from a national Hispanic community support platform, cut our budget, and focus solely on national media.”
She added that her firm will support C&W however it can.