Chevrolet has consolidated the social media portion of its U.S. marketing business with IPG agencies Commonwealth/McCann, Weber Shandwick and Casanova Pendrill. Omnicom PR firm FleishmanHillard had previously handled the account.
Commonwealth has been Chevy’s global creative lead since 2012, and McCann took over the operation approximately four years ago but has never managed the client’s social media presence. Moving forward, the business will be led by teams embedded within Commonwealth and Weber Shandwick offices in Detroit.
“Chevrolet, in an effort to better leverage its agency resources, has decided to more closely align its social media efforts with its marketing and communications by shifting the agency support jointly to Commonwealth, Casanova and Weber Shandwick,” a company spokesperson wrote. “The three agencies will work together to leverage content across all of the social channels. We thank FleishmanHillard for their hard work on behalf of the Chevrolet brand.”
According to our sources, the transition occurred without a formal review after IPG’s creative and comms shops teamed up to pitch for Chevy’s social work.
Parent company General Motors launched a global public relations agency review for the Chevy brand in late 2015 and picked Weber Shandwick over Fleishman and four other competitors last summer. The announcement noted that “the Interpublic Group firm will also collaborate with the brand’s creative agency, Commonwealth.”
FleishmanHillard remains PR agency of record for GM corporate communications, and that relationship will not change. In the past, the firm worked on the social side of Chevy brand campaigns like 2014’s #TechnologyAndStuff, which won bronze, silver and gold Lions at Cannes in the media, rapid response and crisis categories. The meme took off when company spokesperson Rikk Wilde uttered the phrase while awarding a free truck to San Francisco Giants pitcher and World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.
This news amounts to a significant win for IPG as General Motors is the biggest auto advertiser in the U.S., spending more than $3.5 billion across its various brands in 2015. The size of Chevy’s social media spend, however, is not clear at this time.