NEW YORK -- Interpublic Group of Cos Inc. said Tuesday it would defend its advertising account with General Motors, which has put its ad business, estimated to be worth at least $2.8 billion, up for review.
"Given the concern that the announcement of the U.S. review has created in the financial markets, it bears mention that the revenue associated with the assignment in question represents less than 1 percent of our global revenue," Interpublic CEO Michael Roth said in a statement.
GM, one of the largest U.S. advertisers, has been losing vital U.S. market share to foreign rivals, led by Toyota Motor Corp.
GM spent $2.8 billion last year on advertising in media tracked by TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, a provider of advertising and marketing information.
GM on Monday said it had put its advertising buying business up for bid in order to cut costs and respond to the changing advertising landscape.
A GM spokeswoman said the company sent a letter last week to Starcom Mediavest, a unit of France's Publicis Groupe, to compete for the business currently done by General Motors Mediaworks and LCI, which are both units of Interpublic.
Interpublic, whose ad agencies include McCann Erickson and Lowe Worldwide, had total revenue of $4.45 billion in the first nine months of 2004. The company, which is under review by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for a 2002 restatement of several years worth of earnings, last week said it would delay its 2004 annual report and indicated it may again restate prior results.