Chevy moves Hispanic ad work to McCann's Casanova from LatinWorks

Paul Edwards: "Connecting with Hispanic audiences in a meaningful way is critical to Chevrolet."

NEW YORK -- Chevrolet is moving all its U.S. Hispanic advertising work to Casanova Pendrill, McCann Worldgroup's Hispanic agency, from Omnicom-backed LatinWorks.

The shift is essentially a consolidation with Commonwealth, McCann's dedicated agency for General Motors' Chevrolet account.

"Connecting with Hispanic audiences in a meaningful way is critical to Chevrolet," said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevy marketing, in a statement confirming the move. "We welcome Casanova Pendrill to the Chevrolet team and we look forward to working with them to build on Chevrolet's strong product momentum among Hispanic consumers."

The agencies were told Wednesday that the business would move to Casanova. This is the first major move by Edwards since being named to the post on Tuesday. Both Hispanic shops had presented proposals; Casanova is believed to have presented a more integrated solution.

"We talked about what we offer as an independent expert in multicultural," said Sergio Alcocer, LatinWorks' president and chief creative officer. "It's difficult when an agency does the global work for a brand to make the case why the Hispanic market in the U.S. needs to stand alone."

LatinWorks won the Chevy business without a pitch four years ago from Joel Ewanick, GM's chief marketing officer who had been a LatinWorks client earlier at Hyundai. Ewanick was dismissed from the company in July 2012. In 2012, Chevrolet slashed LatinWorks' Hispanic budget drastically as part of the global move to consolidate Chevy at Commonwealth. Then-Chevrolet U.S. marketing chief Chris Perry, who also worked closely with LatinWorks, resigned in mid-December 2013.

Hispanic responsibility for Silverado, which LatinWorks has also worked on, is expected to move to Casanova, too.

Since the review only covered Hispanic, Omnicom's Spike DDB is likely to retain Chevrolet's African-American business. The agency could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

The transition of the Chevy business to Casanova from LatinWorks will take place over the next 30 days, the car maker said.

Commonwealth has been aggressively building up its offering, shifting Linus Karlsson, who was chief creative officer of global brands at McCann Erickson, to creative chairman of Commonwealth, while Andreas Dahlqvist, who was deputy chief creative officer of global brands, becomes chief creative officer at Commonwealth.

Alexandra Bruell contributed to this report.

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