Small German shop buys stake in London shop to service GM

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FRANKFURT -- Buhler & Partner of Frankfurt has acquired a one-third interest in the small London ad agency Summerfield Wilmot Keene, which is being renamed Summerfield Wilmot & Buhler and becomes a member of ELAN, the international confederation of independent ad agencies. Summerfield is the U.K.'s 134th largest ad agency, with claimed billings of $29 million.

The new agency will handle the U.K. launch of General Motors Corp.'s U.S. vehicle brands Cadillac Seville, Chev rolet Camaro and Chevrolet Blazer. GM's U.K. subsidiary Vauxhaul will a set up a dealer network to sell the cars.

In January 1997, GM went outside its roster of ad agencies to award Buhler & Partner its $20 million to $30 million European account for the U.S. car brands Cadillac and Chevrolet. Buhler won the European account in a pitch against McCann Erickson Worldwide, Lowe Group & Partners and D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. Founder and partner Fred Buhler had a long relation ship with GM as McCann's creative director in Germany before setting up his own shop in 1992.

In September 1997, Buhler opened an office in Paris called B&P Paris to service the Cadillac and Chevrolet accounts. Although Buhler is part of the ELAN network, it wanted to have its own office in Paris as well. It established an office in Amsterdam some years ago.

Copyright March 1998, Crain Communications Inc.

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