Publicis Realigns Management of GM Business

Adds Two Co-Presidents and COO to Planworks Lineup

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DETROIT ( -- Publicis Groupe's GM Planworks has realigned its structure, promoting two executives to newly created co-president positions and adding a chief operating officer slot.
GM Planworks CEO Dennis Donlin has dropped president from his title.
GM Planworks CEO Dennis Donlin has dropped president from his title.

GM more aggressive
CEO Dennis Donlin, who under the old hierarchy was president-CEO, told Advertising Age today that the move is geared to better align the agency's structure with dedicated client General Motors Corp., whose top marketing officials, Mark LaNeve and Mike Jackson, are "managing the portfolio more aggressively from the top."

In the shift, Mary Carpenter, 41, moves from exec VP-chief strategy officer to co-president and adds operations and planning operations to her duties. The other co-president, Mike Rosen, 45, had been chief investment officer responsible for Planworks' Video Investment Group buying unit in New York for national broadcast, cable and video-on-demand.

Mr. Rosen will focus on a less-media-specific approach and set up cross-functional teams with special-content expertise, which Mr. Donlin said "would embrace deals that are more multifaceted" and could originate from the digital side. Vickie Southworth, formerly director-regional planning, becomes chief operating officer.

Two spots eliminated
The media-planning and -buying shop also realigned its top officials on GM's Buick, Pontiac and GMC accounts. Since GM has a single general-marketing manager for those three brands, which are also aligned at the retail level, Planworks has moved all three brands under Joanne Sunde, a managing director who had overseen only Pontiac and GMC. Karen Campbell, the director on Buick's account, and her No. 2 Nancy Walters, managing director on Buick, are leaving and their positions have been eliminated, Mr. Donlin said.

Planworks is "custom designed" for the automaker, and the shift is an evolution, he said, that "reflects the evolution in how GM operates."

GM spent $3 billion in U.S. measured media in calendar 2005, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Of that $110 million was spent online, TNS said.

A report this week from Merrill Lynch analyst Lauren Rich Fine said GM already spends 10% to 15% of its yearly marketing budget online, but it will move more to the internet to get its dealers, who spend only 9% of their budgets online, to shift more of their local ad budgets. Ms. Fine projected GM's online ad spending as a percent of its total spending will rise, as will its total dollars spent online.

Mr. Donlin declined to comment on her report.
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