DETROIT -- The advertising joint venture formed last year to handle Chevrolet's creative advertising has split apart, with McCann Worldgroup emerging as the lead agency for the bow-tie brand globally.
Chevy advertising account goes to McCann
Split with Goodby unwinds another Ewanick-era move
McCann said today that it has taken full ownership of the Commonwealth firm, which it formed in a 50-50 joint venture with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. The Commonwealth name will remain, but McCann is buying out Goodby's stake.
In a statement, General Motors said it was notified of the ownership change and that it "should have no impact on our plans to grow the Chevrolet brand around the world."
In 2012, GM spent about $975 million on Chevrolet advertising, according to research firm Kantar Media.
The move ends Goodby's two-and-a-half years of work on Chevrolet's creative advertising. The agency was picked in 2010 by Joel Ewanick, then GM's chief marketing officer, who was ousted in July.
Most of Goodby's commercials ran under the "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign, which was recently phased out in favor of a new slogan, "Find New Roads."
The move comes as Chevrolet embarks on a busy launch schedule, with 25 rollouts planned globally in 2013. About half of those are planned for the United States, including the late spring launch of the next-generation Silverado pickup and next month's debut of the Impala.
It also unwinds another decision made during Ewanick's two-year stint as GM's top marketer. His successor, Alan Batey, interim marketing chief and GM's head of U.S. sales, has made several significant moves recently:
- This week, GM confirmed that Cadillac is conducting a review of its creative account, now handled by Publicis Groupe's Fallon Worldwide. Crain's Detroit Business, an affiliate of Automotive News, reported that Interpublic Group's Campbell Ewald, Chevrolet's ad agency of record for 91 years until 2010, is a front-runner to land the Cadillac work.
- Last month, Chevrolet launched "Find New Roads," a marketing campaign that Batey has said will be used worldwide and likely be the brand's slogan for many years. It replaces the "Chevy Runs Deep" campaign begun under Ewanick in fall 2010.
- In December, GM shifted creative advertising work for a late spring launch of the redesigned Chevrolet Silverado to Leo Burnett, the Publicis Groupe agency that also handles Buick and GMC.
Ewanick had awarded the Chevrolet account to Commonwealth to cut costs and unify the global marketing message of GM's top brand.
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