GM Confirms Corporate Account Shift to Deutsch

L.A. Office Will Assume Duties From Sibling McCann

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DETROIT ( -- General Motors Corp. confirmed that Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles, was named an official agency of record working on "specific reputational projects such as promoting GM's leadership in quality, alternative fuels, economic impact and the environment."
Deutsch will add staff to service the GM account.
Deutsch will add staff to service the GM account.

Mike Jackson, the automaker's VP-marketing and advertising in North America, in a statement said, "GM is fundamentally changing the way we market and sell our vehicles. We are very focused on addressing the quality perception gap between how consumers view GM cars and trucks and the reality of how beautifully designed and well-engineered they truly are."

He said GM is challenging all its agencies to improve consideration by helping to close the misconceptions consumers have about its vehicle's quality and fuel efficiency.

No Detroit office plans
Mike Sheldon, president of Deutsch, Los Angeles, said his shop will assume the corporate account from Interpublic sibling McCann Erickson, Birmingham, Mich. The office will need to hire more staff for the account, but he said he didn't yet know how many. No Detroit office is planned.

Mr. Sheldon praised his GM clients, Mr. Jackson and Mark LaNeve, GM's VP-vehicle sales, service and marketing in North America, for their "entrepreneurialism," saying they make fast decisions and pick great creative.

Four-week turnaround impressed
He said he believes Deutsch got the extra work because GM appreciated how the agency took the raw idea for its new extended vehicle warranty to completed multimedia ads in four weeks.

TNS Media Intelligence shows GM's corporate ad spending in measured media jumped significantly this decade, from $10 million in 2000 to $67 million in 2001 -- the year the auto giant started a massive, multivehicle-brand incentive campaign, led by a "Keep America Rolling" effort following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

GM continued to ratchet up corporate ad spending, mainly for multibrand incentive ads done by McCann, to a high of $551 million in calendar 2005, TNS data show.

McCann referred calls to the client.
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