We messed up on agency moves GM’s Joel Ewanick tells Ad Age

New General Motors marketing supremo Joel Ewanick has done his mea culpa bit, telling Ad Age that he “messed up” when switching Chevrolet from Publicis to Goodby Silverstein, blaming the fracas on an unintended ‘leak.’

No words for BBH alas, which lost Cadillac to Fallon (owned by Publicis) in an equally peremptory fashion. Anyway here’s what Ewanick said:

“We messed up the handling of how we were going to release the information to the folks at Publicis. And that was our doing. I’m kind of disappointed about this, but it also taught me a lesson about what happens at Chevrolet. There’s a sequence about how these things should be announced. We were trying to make telephone calls and get to them and talk to [holding company CEO] Maurice [Levy] and talk to [Publicis USA Chairman-CEO] Susan [Gianinno] and let them know what was going on. Someone on our side, internally, leaked it. … Maurice and I are fine.”

He said he appointed Goodby Silverstein because it’s “the best agency in America, maybe the world,” which is fair enough and Fallon because of its long experience handling luxury marques like BMW and Porsche.

As for BBH, one of the things he didn’t like was the company’s line for Cadillac ‘mark of leadership.’

Instead Fallon has come up with ‘the new standard for the world.’


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