General Motors Corp. agencies Campbell-Ewald and McCann-Erickson Worldwide have formed an alliance to oversee global communications for the auto giant's Chevrolet Division.
The realignment comes as Chevy begins an aggressive push to sell more vehicles around the world.
Housed under Warren, Mich.-based Campbell-Ewald's International Brand Group but including employees from both Interpublic Group of Cos. shops, the initiative affords more direct management of the brand worldwide.
The realignment is part of GM's strategy designating Chevrolet and Cadillac as its main overseas brands, said Kurt Ritter, Chevrolet general marketing manager.
'A CONSISTENT MESSAGE'
"As we try to become a more global brand, all the agencies want to do is make it easier for Chevrolet to get a consistent message out around the world and yet, at the same time, account for regional differences," he said.
Currently, Campbell-Ewald handles strategy and creative for Chevrolet in the U.S.; McCann is GM's lead global agency. McCann also handles GM's Buick.
"This will leverage the domestic investment and will be a more focused point of view about the brand around the world," said C-E Chairman-CEO Anthony Hopp. "We see it as a much better way to handle creative and strategic assets."
International requests for advertising or communications support now are made through McCann's worldwide offices and then sent back through to McCann North America and, finally, to Campbell-Ewald. Under the new plan, all requests will go straight to the new group at C-E.
The two agencies have worked out a compensation arrangement that is "fair to both parties based on the amount of work and staff," Mr. Hopp said.
While he declined to go into detail, he did say billings will continue to originate with the international McCann offices.
The effort will be led by Mark Bellissimo, Campbell-Ewald senior VP-regional director, under the guidance of Michael Ryan, Campbell-Ewald president of automotive operations.
Three McCann GM Worldwide Coordination team employees will move over to the Campbell-Ewald payroll: Thomas Dow, VP-account supervisor; Anne Plaunt, account supervisor; and Carla Meier, account exec.
Copyright June 1999, Crain Communications Inc.