It’s still all go at General Motors and now global CMO Joel Ewanick (pictured), who doesn’t hang around, is adding to his workload by pitching the global creative account for its biggest brand, Chevrolet.
GM’s $3bn global media account is also currently under review with Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest and incumbent Interpublic’s General Motors Planworks pitching.
This news won’t be what Jeff Goodby of Chevrolet’s US agency Omnicom-owned Goodby, Silverstein & Partners wants to hear. The agency was appointed as soon as Ewanick took over last year but has struggled to produce a winning campaign for the US.
Ewanick has invited four holding companies to pitch for Chevy: Omnicom, Publicis Groupe (Publicis handles Cadillac for GM in the US), Interpublic and, rather surprisingly, South Korea’s Cheil Worldwide. WPP is not included, presumably because it handles Ford globally.
Cheil is the house agency of part-owner Samsung with around 1600 staff in 30 countries. Its president and COO outside Korea is former Leo Burnett London boss Bruce Haines. In 2008 it bought a 49 per cent stake in London creative agency Beattie McGuinness Bungay. The attraction of Cheil is presumably its clout in the Far East where China is GM’s biggest market after the US.
Of the creative contenders Omnicom should be in the strongest position because of the Goodby relationship and the fact that it has three strong networks BBDO, DDB and TBWA in the rest of the world.
But Ewanick can’t be too happy with Goodby even though his relationship with the agency goes back to his days at Hyundai in the US where he made his reputation.