Universal McCann, Initiative Media Handle Bulk of Account

By Published on .

LONDON ( -- General Motors Corp. is reviewing its estimated $700 million media planning and buying account across Europe, a threat to Universal McCann and Initiative Media, the Interpublic Group of Cos. media networks that control most of the business.

Roster agencies
GM refused to comment on whether the pitch will be limited to its three roster media agencies or may be thrown open to new contenders. Aegis Group's Carat handles the the media account in Germany.

The automaker in a statement said it is "targeting an increase in synergies to leverage the company's entire advertising media purchase across the region." GM-owned units in Europe include Opel, Vauxhall, Saab, GM Daewoo and Chevrolet.

The review will be led by Jonathan Browning, GM's vice president of sales, marketing and aftersales for Europe; he is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

Struggling with sales
The pitch comes as GM struggles for revenue growth in Europe after reporting a $45 million loss there for the second quarter, compared with a $3 million loss for the same period last year. GM's European market share rose slightly to 9.6% for the first half of 2004 from 9.5% for the same period in 2003.

Domestically, GM, along with Ford Motor Co., yesterday said it would cut fourth-quarter production following a sharp drop in August sales.

Most Popular