Oldsmobile asks 3 shops for input

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General Motors Corp.'s Oldsmobile Division, Detroit, invited McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York, to present strategy for positioning of the division and creative for a divisional ad campaign. Leo Burnett USA, Chicago, handles the national and regional Oldsmobile account, and also will present work, said Randall Tallerico, since Oct. 16 the brand's ad director. Oldsmobile's African-American agency, E. Morris Communications, Chicago, received the same brief as McCann and Burnett. All three will present separately for a divisional campaign that will break early in the first quarter. Mr. Tallerico said he'll meet with the shops to determine the final presentation dates. He emphasized that the account isn't in review, though the divisional theme will be carried into all future product ads. Oldsmobile dealers have complained to the carmaker about reduced ad spending and Burnett's creative. Oldsmobile spent $330 million in measured media in 1999 and $92 million during the first half of 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting. In 1996, GM assigned a GMC truck ad project to Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, though McCann's Troy office had the national account. GM then handed Ammirati, now called Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide after a merger, the entire GMC account in fall 1997 without a review. An Olds spokesman said GM has used other agencies simply for assignments, citing the late 1998 ad launch for the Cadillac Escalade sport-utility vehicle, handled by non-roster agency Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York.

Copyright October 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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