Details of GM's new ad plan
What: GM will take control of $500 million in local advertising money now handled by dealer marketing groups. The company's 954 dealer marketing groups will be axed.
Why: GM wants to send consistent brand advertising to shoppers. 'Our brand plans were not properly implemented,' said Darwin Clark, GM's vice president of sales, service and parts. 'Instead of one voice, we were sending mixed messages.'
Why many GM dealers object: They do not want to lose control over local advertising.
What is new: GM's five new regional general managers will control local ad budgets. GM will fund them with 1 percent of the sticker price of each vehicle sold in their region.
What else is new: GM will launch a voluntary dealer cooperative advertising program dubbed GM Co-Op. Individual dealers may contribute up to 1 percent of the sticker price on each vehicle sold. That money goes into an ad fund for each dealer's own store. GM would provide a 25 percent match.
Impact: Winners include GM's five national ad agencies, which will handle local ads. Losers include GM's 60 local ad agencies, which will lose that business.
When: GM will switch to the new program on April 1, 1999.