Why Are Mitsubishi And Isuzu Driving Off A Cliff?

I drive a 1995 Mitsubishi Montero with 140,000 miles on it. I love it, but at the rate the automaker is going, I won’t be able to buy one to replace it.
Adweek reports on the departure of two more marketing executives from Mitsubishi, the latest in a long string of ’em.
Mitusbishi’s sales declined 39% in the first quarter this year. Only Isuzu (remember them??) had a larger decline at 45%.
Mitsubishi’s ad account is now at BBDO New York, having left Deutsch/LA last December. I’d say David Lubars & Co. have their hands full on this one–provided there’s anything left to advertise.
Interestingly, Isuzu pulled their advertising account away from Goodby and moved it to a retail ad shop named Malone Advertising in Akron, Ohio. I suppose it was a move to get away from flashy brand advertising in an attempt to drive sales, but the only thing Malone’s driven are nails into Isuzu’s coffin.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for TalentZoo.com. Dan published the best of his TalentZoo.com columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. 720 California Street to Ak-tucky? Whoa. That’s a radical move.

  2. I started watching Isuzu erode the brand five years ago at least. It’s a sad thing because their product is an excellent value.
    Poor misguided souls. I think I’d turn the brand over to CPB in one last desperate move to revive it.
    Thoughts on that idea?

  3. Danny G says:

    Well, giving it to Crispin is an obvious conflict with Mini, but yeah, Isuzu needs an agency that specializes in turning around brands. It’s also about product–you gotta have cars that people want.
    I think that Isuzu lost out on the great SUV race after the Trooper rollover controversy. It’s also partially owned by GM, which also might explain their abysmal state.

  4. franklin says:

    Outside of Burger King – which, granted, is a notable exception – what brands has Crispin “turned around?” Mini has been a success, but that was a reintroduction, not a repositioning. Their work for Ikea may have raked in tons of awards, but apparently it didn’t do much for the brand itself. Crispin is a good agency and all, but they are not the end all and be all. Stop buying into the hype.

  5. Danny G says:

    Well, perhaps I misspoke on that last comment. I wouldn’t care if it’s Crispin or whoever–Isuzu needs an agency that knows how to stongly reposition a brand. ‘Cause essentially, they have to ditch their baggage and start from scratch.

  6. I wouldn