LONDON - Silence has replaced the usual talkativeness in the world of advertising and marketing for Daimler-Benz and Chrysler.
Some of the silence may be based on fear, as agencies take care not to offend a new giant client. Some sounds like sensible ignorance of the future. And some sounds like orders from above.
Daimler-Benz did not respond to questions, and Chrysler Europe marketing executive Tom Kowaleski said, 'We're in registration and we can't talk.'
Until the merger is finalized, said Chrysler spokesman Tony Cervone in Detroit, US securities regulations prevent the company from talking about marketing issues between the two companies.
Ad agency offices in Europe and the USA said there was nothing to talk about.
The CEOs, Juergen Schrempp of Daimler-Benz and Robert Eaton of Chrysler, have said forcefully that the brands will be kept separate and strong.
Media buying is an opportunity for early savings. The two companies spent $1.4 billion on measured advertising in the USA last year, and another $400 million in other markets.
An advertising executive whose company works for one of the companies said preparations had already started for media consolidation.
For agencies, Chrysler uses BBDO and Bozell in the Omnicom group, and Daimler-Benz uses Lowe and Ammirati Luris Lintas (Milan) in the Interpublic Group of Companies.
There is one potential conflict.
Also in the Interpublic Group of Companies are the big advertising agencies that have been serving General Motors: McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Campbell-Ewald and Ammirati (New York).
'We'll have to wait and see how the structures fall out and how their marketing organizations are set up,' said a GM spokeswoman, before deciding whether to force the Interpublic Group to drop DaimlerChrysler as a client.