General Motor Corp.'s Saab Cars USA shifted creative work out of Interpublic Group of Cos.' The Martin Agency
, Richmond, Va. A sibling Interpublic agency, Lowe
Brindfors in Stockholm, will now handle that portion of the account. Martin retains media planning and buying, as well as direct and relationship duties. Martin won the account in 1997. At that time, Saab said it would spend $180 million over the following three years on advertising. Earlier Jan. 30, a Martin spokesman said the agency laid off 40 of its 415 employees due to "a drop in workload." Beside the Saab creative loss, the agency was hit hard by the drop in dot-com spending. An expected $200 million in dot-com billings over the last 18 months didn't materialize. Instead, the agency placed less than half of that amount.
Copyright January 2001, Crain Communications Inc.