GM Assigns Cadillac to Carol H. Williams

Automaker Brings Back Former Multicultural Agency

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NEW YORK ( -- General Motors Co. is bringing back one of its former multicultural agencies, Carol H. Williams, to handle the African-American assignment for Cadillac.

Cadillac announced today it will be working with the independent African-American agency in conjunction with Fallon, Cadillac's creative agency of record. Unlike other GM brands, Cadillac doesn't have a U.S. Hispanic agency of record.

"We need to tell the Cadillac story to affluent, urban consumers in ways that are relevant to them," said GM's Joel Ewanick, VP-marketing. "Carol H. Williams has worked with Cadillac and other luxury brands in the past, and we think their experience will be valuable as we develop a multicultural marketing strategy for GM's flagship brand."

Ad Age reported earlier this week that GM named Spike DDB, the joint partnership between film director Spike Lee and DDB Worldwide focusing on integrated communications and niche marketing to African-Americans, trendsetters and transcultural consumers, as its African-American agency of record for Chevrolet. Carol H. Williams held the Chevrolet business until 2008, when it moved to Sanders/Wingo, El Paso, Texas after a review but that turned out to be a short-lived assignment.

Until the two Cadillac and Chevrolet assignments announced this week, GM had no African-American agency of record.

Carol H. Williams is the fourth-largest African-American agency, with 2009 revenue of $21.02 million, an 11.7% drop from the previous year, according to Ad Age's multicultural agency ranking. Spike DDB was ranked No. 15, with 2009 revenue of $2.6 million.

On the Chevrolet agency roster, Spike DDB joined Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and U.S. Hispanic agency LatinWorks. Both were selected, without review, by Mr. Ewanick. Unlike the scattershot of African-American work, Mr. Ewanick's choice of LatinWorks replaced 13-year Hispanic marketing incumbent Accentmarketing, Miami. LatinWorks was Advertising Age's 2009 Multicultural Agency of the Year.

The appointment of an Asian-American agency is still to be determined.

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