APL, GM in Pay Dispute




OnStar Exits Shop, Client Uphappy With Work
DETROIT–A dispute between Ammirati Puris Lintas and General Motors over compensation on the OnStar account could jeopardize the agency’s remaining business with the automaker, according to sources.
APL was recently dismissed from the $20 million OnStar navigational system account, sources said. APL wants more money for its work during the preceding year than the client is willing to pay, sources said. Dollar amounts were undisclosed, but sources said the root of the disagreement is that none of APL’s work in that time period was used by GM, which has been utilizing Campbell Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., instead.
GM told APL they were unhappy with its OnStar work in October, sources said, and the agency was given one last chance in January. Its pitch was unsuccessful. OnStar then chose CEA from GM roster shops CEA; Mullen, Wenham, Mass., (GM’s Certified Used Vehicle and the GM Master Card); Leo Burnett, Chicago, (GM’s Oldsmobile division) and Berlin, Cameron & Partners, New York, (Cadillac Escalade launch).
CEA, the national shop for GM’s Chevrolet division, is negotiating a contract with GM to take over the account, which it has been working on since the summer. Both APL and CEA are IPG shops. The compensation dispute has reflected so badly on APL that GM executives, such as general manager of advertising Phil Guarascio, are reconsidering APL’s future with its $120 million GMC truck account, sources said.
The client remains dissatisfied with APL’s GMC creative, several sources said, but the OnStar squabble has compounded matters. Also at stake: $100 million in regional GMC dealer advertising duties set to be assigned to APL April 1. Guarascio could not be reached, and APL declined
comment.