Our research into the FCA Digital Advertising program was inspired by a Chrysler dealer’s request to have their website’s Google Analytics account connected with their Google AdWords account. The connection, recommended by Google, allows business owners to inspect the quality of the AdWords campaign traffic.
The dealer hired PCG Consulting to assist their dealership with their digital education and strategy. When we called the dealer’s website company, the connection was denied. The answer we received was that it was against Chrysler’s policy.
PCG escalated this matter to Shift Digital, the company that manages the Chrysler digital program. Again, our request was denied based on current program policy. It wasn’t until Brian Pasch posted his first article about the lack of transparency afforded to Chrysler dealers was this dealer’s request granted.
We became curious. Upon further investigation, we believed that there are some irregularities in the FCA Digital Advertising program that appeared to violate Google’s policy for agency reporting. Google requires AdWords
agencies to disclose advertising costs and management fees to their clients.
What we learned was that the approved agencies in the FCA program all have one client, Shift Digital. We discovered that Chrysler dealers are not afforded protection by Google since they are not the client who contracted with the FCA agency. We also learned that some FCA approved vendors disclose management fees and others do not, showing a lack of consistency.
As we started to peel back the onion on the FCA Digital Advertising program, both dealers and vendors were eager to learn, share, criticize, and support the FCA program. Overwhelming support from dealers inspired us to conduct further research into the structure of the FCA Digital Advertising program, which is disclosed in this report.