Saatchi Frankfurt favored in GM review

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STUTTGART -- General Motors Corp. has invited Saatchi & Saatchi, Frankfurt, to pitch for the pan-European relaunch of the Astra. Currently, the Lowe Group handles GM in Germany and the U.K., while McCann-Erickson Worldwide handles GM in the rest of Europe. If Saatchi & Saatchi, Frankfurt, won the assignment, the two roster agencies--both owned by Interpublic Group of Cos.--would have to adapt the creative work of the Germany shop. Saatchi & Saatchi is restricted from working on car accounts outside of Germany because it works for Toyota Motor Corp. in some European markets and Renault in Spain and Italy.

GM's German subsidiary Adam Opel is thought to favor Saatchi & Saatchi, Frankfurt, which has made some impressive performances in some recent car account pitches. In April, it nearly beat DDB Needham Worldwide for the Volkswagen account in Germany, Europe's largest car market. Volkswagen later asked Saatchi & Saatchi to pitch the European advertising account for its Spanish car subsidiary SEAT, but the German agency decided to remove itself from the review.

In addition to McCann, Lowe and Saatchi, London agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe is also pitching for the Astra account.

Copyright November 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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