Campbell Ewald in Detroit has won the Cadillac account, officially anyway as Hill Holiday in Boston is providing creative work – a rather peculiar long distance arrangement.
So owner Interpublic has shoehorned CE into the Lowe network (which seems to be its repository for bits it doesn’t quite know what to do with) and, in the process, shoehorned out CEO Bill Ludwig in favour of Jim Palmer (left).
While Deutsch, IPG’s successful US creative agency and probably the stand-out performer among all its agencies, seems to be leaving the Lowe network altogether.
What big clients want they tend to get and General Motors, Cadillac’s owner, has been making agencies skip through all kinds of undignified hoops for the last two years since it emerged from administration.
Short-lived (but endlessly diverting) marketing supremo Joel Ewanick insisted on the formation of a standalone agency, Commonwealth, to handle GM’s biggest brand Chevrolet.
This was made up of Goodby Silverstein (his original choice to handle Chevy) and IPG’s McCann but Ewanick was turfed last year and McCann took over the business leaving Omnicom’s Goodby Silverstein in state of some disarray.
With Cadillac moving into what we might as well call Lowe, IPG is firmly in the driving seat with GM although some bits remain elsewhere. If IPG boss Michael Roth has his way it won’t be for long.
McCann, still the biggest network in IPG and one of the biggest in the world, lost its grip on some crucial network clients including Exxon, Nestle and Lufthansa during the recent reign of Brit Nick Brien and so IPG needs a real global biggie like GM (now spread across two of its networks) to keep up with WPP and Omnicom.
As for Deutsch, it seems happier to be a US-only player. Its biggest account is Volkswagen so that’s another reason for distancing it from the now GM-dominated Lowe network.