DETROIT - Oldsmobile gave notice last week that it was terminating Frankel & Co. in Chicago, its promotions agency since February 1997.
Frankel, which had 40 people at the Southfield, Mich., office that handled Oldsmobile, is a victim of General Motors' marketing-staff reorganization.
The agency's best-known Oldsmobile work was including the Intrigue in the X-Files Expo tour.
As part of the consolidation of GM's five marketing divisions early this year, marketing services at the divisions was centralized under John Middlebrook, vice president of vehicle brand marketing.
Marketing services handles events, auto shows, concept cars and sales promotions, including Internet sweepstakes.
John Kelley, formerly marketing services manager of Chevrolet, oversees the new centralized marketing services and reports to Middlebrook.
GM's mantra for more than a year has been: consolidate, cut costs and be more efficient.
The marketing services managers of Buick, Oldsmobile and Pontiac-GMC were reassigned, and the divisional positions were eliminated. Martin Walsh keeps that title and those duties at Cadillac because the brand is international.
Advertising directors at the vehicle divisions now handle promotions, which includes events and sponsorships. They work more closely with Middlebrook's centralized marketing unit.
Mike Sands, advertising and promotions director of Oldsmobile, cited the GM consolidation as the reason Frankel was terminated. The brand shifted the promotions to its national ad agency, Leo Burnett USA in Chicago.
Bronner Slosberg Humphrey, a marketing firm in Boston, adds one-to-one marketing duties to its existing direct-mail account with Oldsmobile.
'We have fewer marketing services' resources at this end, so we streamlined,' Sands said.
Oldsmobile had 40 marketing services staffers before the centralization. Now the brand has 15, and only two in promotions.
Added Sands: 'We had a large reduction in our team here, so we needed to rationalize things on the agency side.'