GM Reviews $3.2 Bil. Media-Buying Business

LOS ANGELES General Motors said it is staging a review for its U.S. media-buying business.

The automaker spent $3.2 billion on domestic measured media last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. (That figure includes more than $600 million in dealer association advertising, which is included in the review.)

The incumbents, Interpublic Group’s GM Mediaworks in Warren, Mich., and LCI in New York, which handle national and regional buying respectively, will defend against Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest in Chicago, a GM representative said.

Said IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth in a statement: “We firmly believe that we can mount a successful defense, as we did on the recent review of the GM European media buying assignment, which took place late last year. Given the concern that the announcement of the U.S. review has created in the financial markets, it bears mention that the revenue associated with the assignment in question represents less than one percent of our global revenue, and that our financial condition and liquidity remain strong.”

Starcom already handles GM outdoor advertising, worth about $30 million. That portion of the business is not in play, the client rep said. Media planning duties, with Starcom sibling GM Planworks, are also not in review.

Key GM brands include Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC and Hummer.

—Adweek staff report