GM cops more flack in the US over Ewanick’s brutal treatment of Publicis

Well business is business but new General Motors CMO Joel Ewanick’s decision to turf the just-hired Publicis from GM’s Chevrolet account in favour of his old pals at Goodby Silverstein has rattled a lot of cages in America.

Every agency on earth knows only too well that the appointment of a new marketing director means trouble, at the very least a review or the threat of one. No matter how well the advertising has performed or, in this case, no opportunity to produce any advertising at all.

Ewanick has moved from a very short stint at Nissan to GM with the brief to get the company’s marketing back on track. So he has the licence to do what he wants.

But big companies need to behave towards their suppliers with a certain measure of decorum, how else can they insist that suppliers remain committed to the company and go the extra mile to produce their best work, even though this might not make them extra money?

Publicis CEO Susan Giannino has provoked some comment in the US by sending around a memo implying, rather gently in the circumstances, that GM has behaved badly.

Well Joel Ewanick has.

And even he gets the ads right with Goodby Silverstein there’ll still be a few people on the GM board who think he’s a loose cannon.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.