Power Players, 2008: 6 - 10

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6 MARK
LANEVE
VP-SALES, SERVICE AND MARKETING, NORTH AMERICA
GENERAL MOTORS CORP.
AD BUDGET:
$3.01 BILLION
AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Interpublic's Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; Deutsch, Los Angeles; McCann Erickson, GM R-Works, Detroit; Mullen, Wenham, Mass.; Accentmarketing, Coral Gables, Fla. (IPG owns 49%)
  • Publicis' Leo Burnett Worldwide, Troy, Mich.; Digitas, Boston; Lapiz Hispanic Marketing, Detroit; Vigilante, New York and Detroit; Starcom MediaVest Group, Detroit and New York
  • Modernista, Boston
  • Sanders/Wingo, Austin and El Paso, Texas
  • Carol H. Williams Advertising, Oakland, Calif.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Unlike in past years, Mark LaNeve, 49, recently decided not to advertise on the Super Bowl broadcast, saying the timing doesn't fit with any launches for General Motors' Cadillac. He started the first phase of what will be a major blitz for the new Chevrolet Traverse crossover during the Summer Olympics. Mr. LaNeve is readying a big ad push for the Chevy Silverado full-size pickup. Although it was redone two years ago as a 2007 model, Silverado will be the oldest among Detroit's heavy-metal trucks.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. LaNeve has the thorny job of divvying out GM's pinched ad budget across the automaker's eight vehicle brands, which experts warn are still too many mouths to feed. The pundits also caution it could take GM several years to fix its image with Americans who have written off Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn.
    7 JIM
    FARLEY
    GROUP VP-MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
    FORD MOTOR CO.
    AD BUDGET:
    $2.53 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • WPP's Berlin Cameron United, JWT, Ogilvy, Y&R, WPP/ Team Detroit (including Wunderman), Group M Team Detroit/Ford Motor Media, Detroit; VML, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Avenue A/ Razorfish, Detroit
  • Zubi Advertising Services, Coral Gables, Fla.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Look for a huge send-off for Ford's F-150 pickup truck, still a vital model for the company and its bottom line. Jim Farley approved a slew of cool, high-profile product-integration deals: Ford's Shelby Mustang GT500 as Kitt in NBC's new "Knight Rider" fall TV series; various models in ABC's "Oprah's Big Give"; Ford's European Ka small car in the new James Bond flick "Quantum of Solace"; and the F-150 in "The Dark Knight." Even Lincoln got into the act with its new flagship 2009 MKS sedan, which is prominently featured in the story line of TNT's "RPM," a murder-solving drama that will air in two-minute bursts within commercial breaks on "Law & Order" this month.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Mr. Farley has to keep Americans interested in buying current models as the automaker's volume Ford brand awaits the arrival of several small cars to the U.S., but won't be until 2010. Although Lincoln has slowly been getting slightly younger buyers with new models, the brand has baggage from the years it floundered with ho-hum models. Mercury is still not clearly defined in its products or advertising.
    8 SUSAN
    EDWARDS
    VP-MARKETING
    GLAXOSMITHKLINE
    AD BUDGET:
    $2.46 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Havas' Arnold Worldwide, Boston; Euro RSCG Worldwide, New York
  • Interpublic's DraftFCB, Chicago and New York; McCann HumanCare, New York
  • Omnicom's BBDO, New York
  • Publicis' Publicis USA, Dallas
  • WPP's Grey, MediaCom, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    As pharmaceutical companies go, GlaxoSmithKline isn't doing badly. Earnings were up 13% in the second quarter, particularly good in a sector beset by trickling new-product pipelines and patent expirations. The consumer business has been fairly healthy, thanks in part to diet drug Alli, a $200 million brand. Despite very tough global competition, Sensodyne has been growing at around double digits. Consumer marketing under Susan Edwards is likely to be on the upswing, as new CEO Andrew Witty recently outlined plans to put more emphasis on consumer products and less on pharmaceuticals.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Alli may be great, but sales were down 76% in the second quarter vs. a year ago, when the drug was being sold in retailers for the first time. Only time will tell if it's a victim of the faddish nature of the diet business. Controversy and investigations are no stranger to the pharma business, and GSK has hired a former Food and Drug Administration general counsel to handle its troubles. AIDS activists have criticized the company for allegedly sowing fears about new drugs to help bolster its older ones. And with lots of pharma companies looking to move into consumer health, it won't be cheap or easy for GSK.
    9 JIM
    LENTZ
    PRESIDENT
    TOYOTA MOTOR SALES USA
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.76 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Dentsu's Dentsu America, New York; Attik, San Francisco
  • Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, Conill, Torrance, Calif.; Team One, El Segundo, Calif.; Burrell Communications Group, Chicago (Publicis owns 49%); Zenith Media USA, New York
  • InterTrend Communications, Long Beach, Calif.
  • Walton Isaacson, Beverly Hills, Calif.
  • POWER PLAY:
    Jim Lentz, 52, promoted in the spring to managing officer of parent Toyota Motor Corp., has kept his post of heading U.S. sales and marketing for Toyota, Lexus and Scion. Mr. Lentz is backed by Toyota's chest of cash on hand to weather the current economic head wind. Brand Toyota is basking in its green image, mainly due to the Prius hybrid, which for the first time will be built at a U.S. plant, beginning in 2010. In the meantime, the automaker keeps trying new marketing tactics, including the Lexus brand's online branded channel, L Studio ; the Toyota brand's online challenge for TV ad concepts; and Scion's integrated "United by Individuality" brand campaign that brought 600 owners together for an event in the Nevada desert earlier this year.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Toyota and Lexus aren't immune to the U.S. flight from big trucks and SUVs. The industry's current truck slump has dented the automaker's bottom line. Toyota will have to explain to Americans the benefits of what the automaker calls its "crossover sedan," the 2009 model Toyota Venza, which arrives this year.
    10 BRIAN
    CAROLIN
    SENIOR VP-SALES AND MARKETING
    NISSAN NORTH AMERICA
    AD BUDGET:
    $1.42 BILLION
    AGENCIES INCLUDE:
  • Omnicom's TBWA Worldwide, OMD Worldwide, Los Angeles
  • True Agency, Los Angeles
  • Vidal Partnership, New York
  • POWER PLAY:
    Brian Carolin arrived at Nissan North America earlier this year from Nissan Europe. As senior VP-sales and marketing there, he launched Infiniti across Europe. The volume Nissan brand is making inroads with some of its cars in the U.S. Already Mr. Carolin has had several crucial launches: the redone Murano, which Nissan debuted online in its sponsored Yahoo Live Sets series, and the Maxima sedan. On the truck side, however, only sales of the Rogue small sport-utility vehicle are up.
    DOWNSIDE:
    Nissan and Infiniti need to get their grooves back amid a revolving door for executives at the automaker's U.S. arm, and a loss of sound corporate wisdom due to cuts of veteran staffers when Nissan moved its headquarters from California to Nashville. Mr. Carolin has to deal with pressures from Nissan Motor Co. President-CEO Carlos Ghosn to slash costs while improving margins. Consider this: Nissan slashed U.S. measured media 20% to $279 million for the period of January through May 2008, vs. the same period in 2007. The automaker may be hitting the numbers goals set overseas by Mr. Ghosn, but both Nissan and Infiniti have lost some of their emotional zing.
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