APL, CEA in Shootout for OnStar

N.Y. Shop Will Hire 2 to Head GMC Creative
NEW YORK–Ammirati Puris Lintas and Campbell-Ewald Advertising last week presented competing work for a summer campaign to General Motors’ OnStar division. The winner will be crowned lead agency on the $20 million account, ending months of speculation of a shift in status [Adweek, Aug. 31].
The campaigns pitched last week utilized new taglines as well as lead agency APL’s existing line, “OnStar. Always there to help,” and CEA’s theme, “Wherever you go, here we are,” which was used at the 1999 North American International Auto Show.
Last summer, the client assigned a “promotional” fall TV and print campaign to CEA. Its sister shop,C-E Communications, handles direct duties, which led to the expanded assignment.
Both CEA and APL are owned by the Interpublic Group of Cos. Media is handled by IPG’s GM MediaWorks.
APL in New York referred calls to the client, which declined comment. Executives at CEA in Warren, Mich. could not be reached.
Separately, sources said APL is seeking two top creatives with auto experience to head its GMC truck account from OnStar parent GM. The business is overseen by Pat Hanlon and Clem McCarthy, who would be reassigned to other tasks.
That team took over creative duties on GMC less than six months ago from a group headed by David Harner and Adam Goldstein. Harner has since left the shop and was replaced by Niko Courtelis, a former Wieden & Kennedy creative. GM recently assigned APL its GMC dealer work, estimated to be worth $100 million [Adweek, Dec. 21].