CHEVROLET AWARDS ADVERTISING ASSIGNMENT TO DEUTSCH

Campbell-Ewald Remains Agency of Record

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New York (AdAge.com) -- Chevrolet is set to award advertising creative duties for its motor sports and Major League Baseball properties to Deutsch's Los Angeles office, according to executives familiar with the situation.
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The assignments will begin next year and are being parceled out to Deutsch -- the automaker and agency are in final negotiations -- because Campbell-Ewald, Chevrolet's agency of record, is so busy with the upcoming launches of Chevy's Tahoe, Suburban and Silverado vehicles.

20 new products
"Campbell-Ewald will focus on that," said a spokesman for the General Motors Corp. division. "With 20 new products launching over three years, we can use all the resources we can get."

Deutsch will handle creative for the brand's involvement in motor sports such as Nascar and Corvette Racing, as well as creative for its association with Major League Baseball, of which Chevrolet is a lead sponsor.

GM initiative too?
Executives familiar with the situation also indicated Deutsch had landed a new GM initiative to expand the GM brand to all vehicles in all car lines. A GM spokeswoman, Ryndee Carney, however, denied this was the case.

"We have not awarded anything new to anyone," she said, adding that the car company regularly talks with agencies at its "longtime partner" Interpublic Group of Cos.

GM currently has a number of branding initiatives at McCann Erickson while Lowe handles GMC and Saab. Media buying is at GM Planworks, a Publicis agency.

Big spender
The automaker, which spends $4 billion on advertising annually, has moved this year to improve the positioning not only of the GM brand, but of the company's eight divisional brands. Brent Dewar, GM's VP-North America marketing and advertising, has used ingredient marketing -- pushing the OnStar vehicle navigation system, for example -- to underscore the advantages of a GM product.

Spending on the Chevy projects could not be determined. Overall, Chevrolet spent $811 million in measured media in 2004, and $400 million for the first six months of 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. GM's corporate branding measured media spending was $439 million for 2004, with $274 million for the first six months of this year, according to TNS.

Deutsch under pressure
Deutsch's Los Angeles office, which lost the $200 million Mitsubishi Motors North America account to BBDO earlier this year, has been flirting with several GM brands in an effort to replace the business, having quietly pitched Pontiac and Buick, according to executives familiar with the situation.

Deutsch's New York HQ has also had some big losses, including Coors, Revlon and Bank of America. Most recently, it lost Orville Redenbacher, which it had won in the spring.

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