General Motors' global review of its Chevrolet creative business has been under way for a month now, acccording to a company representative today.
The rep added that GM expects to complete the review, which surfaced only Thursday, by year's end. Omnicom Group, Interpublic Group, Publicis Groupe, and Cheil Worldwide are putting forth proposals to handle the creative business.
Agencies from some of those holding companies already work on the brand, and therefore have a fair amount of skin in the game. In the U.S., for example, Chevy's lead agency is Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, and in Latin America, India and China, it's Interpublic's McCann Erickson. Cheil, known primarily for its work on Samsung, does not handle any GM business.
The stakes in the contest are incredibly high, given that Chevy is GM's largest brand. Last year, GM sold more than 4.2 million Chevys, compared to 1.2 million units of Opel/Vauxhall, the company's next biggest seller.
Chevy's top three markets are the U.S., Brazil, and China.
Worldwide revenue on the business could not be ascertained. In the U.S. alone, however, account revenue is estimated at more than $50 million and media spending typically exceeds $650 million annually.
The goal of the review is to operate more efficiently and effectively, according to the GM rep. Indeed, when any brand employs multiple agencies on the same brand—even in different markets—it can be expensive and difficult to manage.
The Chevy contest comes amid GM's review of its global media planning and buying business, and feels like the more deliberate and process-driven GM of yore than the new GM, as personified by global marketing chief Joel Ewanick. Last year Ewanick shifted its U.S. creative assignments on Chevy and Cadillac without reviews.
The latest reviews may mark a return to form.