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Publicis merges Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi in Detroit to shore up General Motors

General Motors now has two bespoke agencies in the US: Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi are merging in Detroit to form new unit Engage M-1 (named after a Detroit highway it seems). The two agencies work on General Motors’ Buick and GMC (trucks and crossovers) brands.

Most other GM business is handled by Commonwealth, a unit of McCann that originally included Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein.

In the process Burnett Detroit boss Ian Jones is leaving. DigitasLBi Boston and Detroit boss Robert Guay will head Engage M-1.

Publicis Groupe recently reorganised its creative agencies into Publicis Communications, under Arthur Sadoun. Agency brands Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and Publicis Worldwide still exist but it seems they’re dispensable if client requirements (and, maybe, cost) demand. Publicis is bringing its various agencies in Shanghai closer together in another reorganisation.

Decades ago Leo Burnett himself made a famous address on his retirement titled “When to take my name off the door.”

In Detroit they just have.

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