1. Brent Dewar

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AD BUDGET: $4.0 billion

AGENCIES INCLUDE: Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell-Ewald, Warren, Mich.; Lowe Worldwide, New York; McCann Erickson Worldwide, Birmingham, Mich.; Mullen, Wenham, Mass. Omnicom Group's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco. Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Detroit, Troy, Mich.; GM Planworks, Detroit; Starcom USA, Chicago. Digitas, Boston. Modernista, Boston. Carol H. Williams Advertising, Oakland, Calif.

POWER PLAY: Since arriving in his current role last spring, Brent Dewar has been part of a small team driving the auto giant's wildly successful employee discount program. Originally planned as a monthlong promotion, it started June 1 with ads from McCann Erickson featuring real GM workers. The program propelled GM's U.S. monthly vehicle sales by 41% vs. the previous June and the best monthly sales since September 1986. Detroit rivals were hit hard with sales slides and quickly copied GM, which extended its program.

DOWNSIDE: Mr. Dewar, 50, will have to determine the best way to communicate GM's true value-pricing strategy as it tries to shift away from four years of incentives. The 27-year GM veteran must help each of the automaker's eight vehicle brands sharpen their identities and make good on plans to diversify media buys by brand, even as the carmaker's account moves to a new media buying operation.

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