Not that much has been going right for Interpublic (IPG) on the agency front recently but General Motors is riding to the company’s rescue.
Interim CMO Alan Batey has been busy unravelling former CMO Joel Ewanick’s many controversial decisions since Joel was turfed last year and now luxury brand Cadillac is reported to be headed from Publicis Groupe-owned Fallon in Minneapolis to IPG’s Campbell Ewald in Detroit.
Campbell Ewald is not a particularly big US agency these days but, before the musical chairs began, had handled GM’s main brand Chevrolet for 90 years. Chevy is currently residing at Commonwealth, a bespoke agency set up by Ewanick (left) which consists of Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein in the US and IPG’s McCann everywhere else. Ad Age also reports that Goodby is about to be turfed from Commonwealth, meaning essentially that McCann gets the business.
The Cadilllac account has been bouncing around like a football in recent years. Leo Burnett had it, then Modernista (which no longer exists) then it went to BBH New York for just six months before Ewanick hove into view.
Ewanick’s first move was to fire Publicis from Chevy and give the business to Goodby, with whom he had worked at Hyundai. He obviously didn’t like the look of BBH on Cadillac but kept the business in Publicis Groupe at Fallon; it’s thought as a sop to PG boss Maurice Levy who was enraged at these doings. Levy, presumably, won’t be any happier this morning.
But PG is the main Renault agency and the new GM, which was bailed out by the US government in the banking crisis, has big global ambitions, particularly for Chevrolet. PG-owned Leo Burnett is still a big GM agency with Buick, AMC and Silverado trucks (which it won from Commonwealth).
But IPG looks to be firmly in the driving seat at GM.