Making Ad Research Work

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Judy Hu has been in her new job at General Motors Corp. only since Dec. 1. But she yields considerable clout as GM's director of advertising resources management at its North American Operations.

In this newly created position, Ms. Hu oversees the standardization and sharing of ad research, creative development and strategic development among GM's marketing divisions.

"My primary focus is recognizing the best practices and to facilitate knowledge in these areas across the divisions," she explains. "If Chevrolet found a good way that works for them, we want to make sure others have access to it."

Ms. Hu, 44 and a Harvard cum laude undergrad, reports directly to Phil Guarascio, VP-general manager of marketing and advertising.

Wants new suppliers
She wants GM to look at new ad research suppliers and methodologies. She expects to arrange seminars presenting award-winning ads for the divisions' marketing teams to study and benchmark.

Ms. Hu expects to be part of any agency review. She sat in as a non-voting member on the later rounds of GM's recent used-car review.

In her previous job as senior VP-director of strategic systems at the Troy, Mich., office of D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, she worked with Mr. Guarascio developing GM's creative standards and training modules. But she worked mostly on developing consistent strategy on GM's Pontiac brand.

She's risen through the ranks since starting in the industry in 1982, doing account work at then-Benton & Bowles, New York, on various Procter & Gamble Co. brands. From 1987 to 1990 she held senior manager jobs at Leo Burnett Co. in Hong Kong, servicing United Airlines, Kellogg Co. and Glad-Lock bags. She then rejoined DMB&B.

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