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CHEVY NARROWS FIELD FOR DEALER AD SHOPS;GROUP DOWN TO 16 SEMIFINALISTS EYEING A PIECE OF $300 MIL PIE

By Published on .

Chevrolet made the second cut last week in its review of dealer group ad agencies, thinning the field to 16 from 40.

Each of the 16 shops has been given the same eight-part assignment that includes creative, media and strategic planning. Presentations will be at Chevy headquarters in Warren, Mich., from mid- to late September.

BEHIND SCHEDULE

That's later than the General Motors Corp. division had hoped. Chevy in June said it wanted to pick the "select" agencies by late August or early September, in time for the new model year campaigns.

But the deluge of questionnaire paperwork from the 86 agencies handling the 206 dealer groups is believed to have slowed the review.

At stake is $300 million the dealer groups spend annually in measured media. Chevy has consistently said it has no target number for the select roster.

Chevy won't comment on the review until the select list is decided.

CAMPBELL-EWALD ET AL.

The semifinalists are Chevy national agency Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich., as well as Ad Team of Florida, Miami; Associated Advertising, Phoenix; BA Advertising, Dallas; Berline Group, Bloomfield Hills, Mich.; Cuneo Sullivan Dolabany, Boston; Demaine, Vickers & Associates, Alexandria, Va.; Fogarty Klein & Partners, Houston; Gianettino & Meredith, Short Hills, N.J.; Graham Advertising, Colorado Springs, Colo.; Heathcotte & Associates, Little Rock, Ark.; Kragie/Newell, Des Moines; Lois/EJL, Chicago; J.W. Messner Inc., Grand Rapids, Mich.; Parrish Marketing, Salt Lake City; and Strong Automotive, Birmingham, Ala.

UNIFYING THE MESSAGE

Chevy wants to trim its dealer group agency roster to present a more unified brand message, a goal that has gained importance under GM's new brand management reorganization.

GM's Pontiac, GMC, Buick and Oldsmobile divisions have already cut their dealer group agency rosters.

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