General Motors Corp., Detroit, on July 25 tapped Bcom3 Group's Starcom MediaVest
Group, Chicago, for its consolidated media planning account, at $2.9 billion in 1999 spending the most expensive review in ad history. A new dedicated agency will be created to handle the GM work. Tentatively called GM Planworks, the operation will be based in Detroit or its suburbs. Mike Browner, executive director-media and marketing at GM, said hiring of the 150 to 200 staffers who will eventually work at the new shop will start next week. Some current planners at GM agencies handling vehicle brand creative will be hired. Those agencies are Bcom3 shops D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich. (Cadillac and Pontiac), and Leo Burnett
USA, Chicago (Oldsmobile); and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald
, Warren, Mich. (Chevrolet), Lowe
Lintas & Partners Worldwide, New York (GMC trucks) and McCann-Erickson Worldwide, Troy, Mich. (Buick). GM's Saturn and Saab brands aren't part of the consolidation, because they're not part of the responsibilities of John Middlebrook, VP-general manager of GM's vehicle brand marketing. But he said media planning for Hummer, which GM acquired the rights to market last year, and Saab and Saturn could later be added to Planworks' account.
Copyright July 2000, Crain Communications Inc.