General Motors' review of its budget for creative advertising work on Chevrolet is aimed at whittling the number of outside agencies from more than 50 worldwide to "a handful," global marketing chief Joel Ewanick said.
GM believes it can save "real money" while enhancing Chevy's marketing by stitching together campaigns from various countries around the globe, Ewanick told Automotive News at the Los Angeles Auto Show. He said GM will complete the Chevy review next month.
The creative review is running concurrently with a review of GM's $3 billion media-buying budget, which includes more than 40 agencies worldwide.
Asked whether the combined reviews could save tens of millions of dollars, Ewanick replied: "More than that. It's real money."
Ewanick said there are more than 2,000 people working on Chevy accounts at creative ad agencies globally. "That's a lot," he said.
GM has studied the agency networks of other big companies, inside and outside the auto industry. Ewanick said some companies have pared their agency count moderately, only to return for more consolidation.
He made it clear that GM plans big changes.
"We're able to leapfrog all that," Ewanick said. "We're going to go to what is probably the next evolution in how these kinds of agency formulas and business models will work for a global brand like ours."
The overhaul of GM's ad-agency portfolio is part of a broader effort spearheaded by CEO Dan Akerson to cut costs companywide. For example, GM is consolidating the number of vehicle and engine platforms it uses to slash engineering and manufacturing costs.