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Hyundai Pulls the Trigger.

50starburst.jpgAs we suspected, Hyundai made a move towards The Richards Group. The auto maker claims Goodby is still “in good standing” with them, but this doesn’t look too good.

Remember – it was the dealers making a stink about Goodby’s advertising. Probably good conceptual and creative for their tastes, as dealers tend to like starbursts featuring gems like “save now!” and “for a limited time!”

The Richards Group will give them all the starbursts they want, apparently.

Hyundai has given them one assignment for fall, specifically for the dealers. They’re calling it a “mini-campaign.” Adweek explains how/why this is all happening:

Independent Richards, Dallas, created all the national and regional advertising for Hyundai before then-COO Steve Wilhite disbanded the dealer groups at the end of 2006 and hired Goodby in April 2007.

Before Goodby came aboard, the Eastern dealers opted to stay together and kept their ad business at Richards, Ewanick said, renewing Richards’ contract in January. According to sources, the value of the business exceeds $25 million in annual media.

A dealer-group system was reinstated as the year began. Sixty-seven groups now operate in six regions: California, East, West, South, South Central and Central. They are free to choose whichever agencies they please for local work, Ewanick said. Goodby continues to handle the bulk of the regional advertising.

So, there you have it. And to think… Hyundai ALMOST had all their advertising at a quality better than their cars.

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