Local German agency scoops Gm's U.S. cars in Europe

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RUESSELHEIM/ZURICH -- General Motors North American Vehicles has named Frankfurt-based Buehler & Partner to handle its $20m-to-$30m European account.

The local agency, which already handles GM NAV's below-the-line work, wrested the business from incumbent McCann-Erickson Frankfurt in a pitch that also included other major international networks - Lowe & Partners Frankfurt plus its London office, and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowle's newly set up NW Ayer Frankfurt office jointly with creatives from DMB&B Detroit.

Buehler & Partner has no media department. A decision on a media buyer is expected soon.

The new ad campaign will run in 10 west European countries where 10 different models of GM's Cadillacs and Chevrolets are marketed. GM plans to debut the Chevrolet range in the U.K. late this year or in early next. The company's main markets for its U.S. models in Europe currently are: Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, the Benelux countries and Scandinavia.

The win is a huge victory for Buehler & Partner Founder and Partner Fred Buehler, though his relationship with GM goes back a long way. In addition to the agency's recent role in handling below-the-line activities and company literature for GM NAV cars, Buehler was at Frankfurt-based McCann-Erickson for a decade as creative director and associate creative director Europe, before leaving in 1992 to set up his own agency.

Buehler & Partner is linked to the independent network Elan and it plans to set up an office in the Paris agency to help co-ordinate the account.

Copyright January 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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