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AUBURN HILLS -- Canadian music diva Celine Dion's days as the public face in Chrysler's television commercials may be over.
Joe Eberhardt, the new marketing and sales chief of DaimlerChrysler AG's Chrysler Group, said Dion may no longer appear in Chrysler TV spots but the automaker plans to continue to use the singer's music in advertisements and other promotions.
"The Celine Dion campaign was never supposed, from the first day, to continue in its large format," Eberhardt told The Detroit News on Tuesday. "There was a clear understanding that after the first push we would continue with using certain elements of her personality and some of her music in subsequent spots. And that is the phase we are in right now."
Asked directly whether Dion would appear in future Chrysler TV ads, Eberhardt said: "I don't know yet. She was contracted for a certain number of commercials, some of which she will appear and some which her music will appear. I need to look at whether we have finalized the number where she personally appears. I think we have."
Chrysler agreed this year to pay about $14 million to sponsor Dion's show in Las Vegas and to have her and her music in ads. The contract runs for three years. Eberhardt said Chrysler would honor the contract.
The Dion ads have drawn criticism from some dealers and analysts who don't think they are boosting sales and introducing new buyers to Chrysler. Eberhardt said Chrysler plans to focus for the time being on advertising that will help deliver short-term sales.
Eberhardt added, though, that the Dion spots have drawn much-needed attention to Chrysler's goal of becoming a more upscale brand. Whether Dion is the right spokesperson for the brand in the future is still up for debate, he conceded.
"The question ... is really whether Celine Dion is the right vehicle for building longer term aspirations for the Chrysler brand or not," he said. "It's a very subjective issue. It's probably one of the biggest subjective issues and taste issues out there."
Eberhardt, 39, a veteran Mercedes-Benz executive, was chosen last month to replace the fired Jim Schroer. Eberhardt had been CEO of DaimlerChrysler's operations in the United Kingdom.
 

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Re: I drove all niiiitttteee, and it's over, lol (vdubjb)

i saw one of her ads the other day, and thought, "boy, i can't stand her"...glad to see i'm not alone...certainly not going to attract a younger demographic with her image....
 

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Re: I drove all niiiitttteee, and it's over, lol (.je)

Quote, originally posted by .je »
If they give us more Diana Krall, they'll sell a lot more cars. Write it down!

Here here! I can't STAND Celine Dion, but Diana Krall is like hot chocolate on a cold day.
 
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