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GM Announces Buick-Pontiac-GMC Ad Agency Consolidation


Changes support ongoing strategy to align brands along retail channels

DETROIT -- General Motors Corp. will realign the national advertising creative work related to its Buick, Pontiac and GMC brands under one agency, the Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett company, in the U.S. effective Oct. 1.

“This move will help us further unleash the power of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel and also support our efforts to create three strong, fully differentiated brands within this channel,” said Jim Bunnell, general manager, Buick-Pontiac-GMC.

“The Buick-Pontiac-GMC channel represents something unique in the automotive marketplace: three brands, sold in one retail channel, with a complete product portfolio of cars, crossovers, SUVs and trucks. Although we have made a lot of progress to date in aligning these three brands as a single channel, we still have work to do. It’s time to move to the next level, and we believe that having one dedicated agency will help us get there effectively and efficiently,” Bunnell said.

After the transition of the Buick-Pontiac-GMC advertising creative work, the Publicis Groupe will continue to have responsibility for advertising creative work for GM Service and Parts Operations (Leo Burnett Detroit), GM’s media planning and buying operations (GM Planworks), Web site design, development and operations (Digitas), and Local Marketing Group retail advertising creative.

The Interpublic Group of companies (IPG) has responsibility for advertising creative work for Chevrolet (Campbell-Ewald), OnStar (Campbell-Ewald), Saab (Lowe), Saturn (Deutsch L.A.), the GM corporate brand (Deutsch L.A. and McCann Erickson Detroit), GM corporate and regional event marketing (GM R*Works), and Local Marketing Group retail advertising creative. The Cadillac and Hummer advertising creative work remains with the independent agency Modernista!

“We have two outstanding advertising companies that handle the majority of our work. This change is purely an operational business decision that we made to further strengthen our retail channel strategy by consolidating the advertising creative work for all of the brands in that channel. It is in no way a reflection upon the relationship or the work that McCann Erickson has done for the Buick account and that Lowe has done for GMC,” said Mark LaNeve, GM North America vice president, Sales, Service and Marketing. “In fact, GMC is a strong brand and has been one of the great automotive success stories of the past decade. Buick is in the middle of revitalization and the new Enclave crossover is experiencing an outstanding launch.”

The core Buick-Pontiac-GMC team from Leo Burnett will be headquartered in Detroit but will also utilize Publicis and Leo Burnett resources in Chicago and other locations.


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