Publicis Groupe Holds On to GMC

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Credit: Courtesy of GMC

GMC has retained Publicis Groupe's EngageM-1 as its lead creative agency after a review that began last year.

The General Motors brand also considered Interpublic's Martin Agency and Dentsu's McGarryBowen. GMC spent $255 million in measured media on the brand in 2015, according to the latest full-year data from Kantar Media.

A GMC spokeswoman told Ad Age that "GMC has concluded the RFP process for a new AOR and elected to retain creative resources within the Publicis agency umbrella, effective immediately. GMC is readying campaign work for 2017 that will continue to showcase our premium products under the long-running 'We Are Professional Grade' tagline."

EngageM-1 was formed last June when the Detroit offices of Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi were combined into a single unit to handle the GM account. The shop also oversees the Buick brand, which was not part of the review.

Robert Guay, managing director for DigitasLBi, is Publicis Groupe's global client lead for General Motors. He is expected to continue serving in that role.

Publicis Groupe execs will surely greet the retention with a sigh of relief after facing the prospects of losing a key part of their GM business. Publicis Communications CEO Arthur Sadoun, who will become Publicis Groupe CEO on June 1, told Ad Age in January that General Motors remains a very important client and that the holding company would keep its Detroit office regardless of the GMC outcome because it still works with Buick. But with GMC still in the fold, the office investment seems on steadier ground.

GMC unit sales in the U.S. increased by 1.1% in January to 37,324 vehicles, according to figures compiled by Automotive News.

Contributing: Lindsay Stein

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