LONDON (Reuters) - WPP <WPP.L> said on Tuesday it was in talks with Ford Motor Company <F.N>, a major client, about their future partnership after the carmaker said it was considering its internal and external advertising model.
Britain's WPP, led by the high profile businessman Martin Sorrell, said in a statement it had been verbally informed that Ford was considering its future ad model and "want to enter into a further agreement with WPP for a period to be agreed in 2018".
Ford said in a statement it valued the creative men and women at WPP.
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"They are trusted partners and curators of the Ford brand," it said. "As we are across the Ford business, we are exploring options to improve the fitness of our marketing and advertising operations. No decisions have been made."
WPP has been hit this year by a slowdown in spending from some clients and a new wave of competition that has forced the big ad groups to turn more aggressive when bidding for new contracts.
WPP, which includes such names as Vodafone, Chanel, Unilever and BP on its client roster, said it was in discussion with Ford on the next steps.
Shares in WPP had rallied on the news and closed up 2.6 percent.
(Reporting by Kate Holton; editing by Jason Neely)