By Noreen O'Leary|August 31, 2009

Chrysler has invited outside agencies to pitch creative ideas for a fourth-quarter campaign, with lead agency BBDO Detroit, an Omnicom Group shop, participating in the search.

Chrysler’s media assignment at Omnicom’s PHD and digital work at the holding company’s Organic unit are not affected.

In November 2000, Omnicom won Chrysler’s consolidated ad business after a hotly contested review with the automotive company’s other roster shop, FCB. The latter at the time was owned by True North, but is now part of IPG’s Draftfcb.

It is not known how much marketing support Chrysler is putting behind the Q4 ad salvo.

Chrysler spent more than $840 million on ads last year, per Nielsen.

“As a new company, we are looking for fresh ideas to communicate in the marketplace and as a result we are looking for ideas for a specific creative assignment,” Chrysler rep Jodi Tinson said, adding that BBDO remains the carmaker’s lead shop.

Tinson would not comment on the nature of the assignment nor identify the agencies that have been contacted. They are believed to include non-Omnicom shops.

A rep for BBDO declined comment.

Chrysler has gone outside BBDO before, giving a Jeep Compass assignment to GlobalHue, which created the 2007 bobble-head campaign.

In addition, Italian automaker Fiat, which owns 20 percent of the Detroit company, is known to use multiple agencies. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne now runs Chrysler as part of its emergence from bankruptcy in June.

Chrysler’s contact with non-roster shops comes two weeks after Volkswagen of America put its $200 million account in review, with incumbent Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a unit of MDC Partners, declining to defend.

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