GM marketing shakeup may end joint venture that handles Chevy advertising
Source: McCann to land bulk of Chevy work
Photo credit: BLOOMBERG
SAN DIEGO -- General Motors is considering another shakeup in Chevrolet marketing that would end a joint venture created last year between two large agencies to handle Chevy's creative advertising globally.
Discussions are underway that would consolidate most of Chevrolet's creative work under Interpublic Group's McCann Worldgroup, one half of the 50-50 venture called Commonwealth that was formed nearly a year ago with Omnicom Group Inc.'s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, according to a person familiar with the talks.
Advertising Age, an affiliate of Automotive News, reported last week that GM was considering making McCann Chevrolet's lead creative agency. The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday reported that GM executives are dissatisfied with the joint venture's ability to handle a growing workload and intend to have McCann take over the account while keeping the Commonwealth name.
The move effectively would force out Goodby, which was selected in spring 2010 as Chevy's creative agency of record. It remained in that role until partnering with McCann last year to form Commonwealth.
Goodby hatched Chevy's recently phased out "Chevy Runs Deep" advertising campaign.
Chris Perry, Chevrolet's vice president of U.S. marketing, who was here attending a media launch for the 2014 Impala sedan, declined to comment on the Commonwealth discussions.
A Goodby spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter.
A shift to McCann would mark the latest shuffling inside GM's massive marketing enterprise and the continued unwinding of changes put in place by Joel Ewanick, GM's former chief marketing officer, who left the company in July.
Alan Batey, GM's U.S. sales chief and interim global CMO since Ewanick's departure, recently replaced the widely panned "Chevy Runs Deep" marketing platform with a new one, "Find New Roads."
Ewanick also was the architect of Commonwealth, which consolidated work done by dozens of ad agencies globally under the venture between McCann and Goodby.
In December, GM shifted creative advertising work for the launch of the Chevrolet Silverado to Leo Burnett, the Publicis Groupe agency that also handles the creative for GM's Buick brand and the GMC Sierra pickup.
And GM said today that it is conducting a review of its Cadillac advertising account, now handled by Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide. On Monday, Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, reported that Interpublic Group's Campbell Ewald, which served as Chevy's ad agency of record for 91 years until losing the account shortly before Goodby won it in 2010, is a front-runner to become Cadillac's creative agency of record.
In 2012, GM spent almost $975 million on Chevrolet advertising in the United States, and $243 million on Cadillac's U.S. advertising, according to Kantar Media.
Ewanick was ousted amid accusations that he did not fully disclose financial details of a roughly $600 million Chevy sponsorship deal with British soccer club Manchester United. Goodby was hired by Ewanick, who is friends with the agency's co-chairman, Jeff Goodby.
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