DETROIT — General Motors is shuffling the advertising agencies of its most important brands, Chevrolet and Cadillac, as it embarks on a busy vehicle launch schedule.
Interpublic Group’s McCann Worldgroup emerged last week as the lead global agency for Chevrolet. McCann is in the lead position after a joint venture formed last year to handle Chevrolet work was restructured.
GM also confirmed last week 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, earlier 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.
At Chevrolet, McCann and Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners established the venture, called Commonwealth, at the request of GM’s former marketing chief, Joel Ewanick.
Last week Goodby acquired McCann’s share in Commonwealth, ending Goodby’s work for Chevrolet.
The consolidation of Commonwealth ends Goodby’s 2 1/2 years of work on Chevrolet’s creative advertising. The agency was picked in 2010 by Ewanick, who was ousted in July. Most of Goodby’s commercials ran under the recently phased out “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign.
In a statement, General Motors said that 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.”
Ewanick’s successor as GM’s top marketer, Alan Batey, interim marketing chief and GM’s head of U.S. sales, has made several significant moves recently:
• Last month Chevrolet launched “Find New Roads,” a marketing campaign that Batey has said will be deployed worldwide and likely will be the brand’s slogan for many years. It replaces the widely panned “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign begun under Ewanick in fall of 2010.
• Also last month, Batey hired Tim Mahoney, former Volkswagen of America marketing chief, as Chevrolet’s global chief marketing officer. Mahoney will report to Batey and also be GM’s global marketing operations leader.
• 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.
GM wants to solidify its advertising agencies prior to several key launches, including those of the Silverado, the redesigned Cadillac CTS sedan late this year and GM’s redesigned big SUVs in early 2014.