Sewell Sets Review in Motion

Sewell Automotive Cos. has placed its estimated $5-10 million account into review.

The account includes both creative and media buying duties for the Dallas-based company, which operates 17 dealerships in Dallas, New Orleans, San Antonio and Fort Worth, Texas.

Primary duties will involve the client’s Sewell Cadillac dealerships, although up to three other car brands may be included in the work, sources said.

A Sewell Automotive representative last week confirmed the company had sent out requests for information to 10 local agencies. Responses were due back at the client Jan. 18.

Sewell has not had a formal agency relationship in almost three years, since splitting with the former Berry-Brown.

Instead, the auto company has relied on the creative talents of former advertising executives Ross Puskar and Jim Gibbon. The founding co-principals of Puskar Gibbon Chapin (now PGC Advertising) departed the shop after its purchase by Omnicom, but they have continued to work with their former client on a project basis.

Ward Communications, also Dallas, has handled media buying.

According to client representative Alicia Henderson, the search for a new agency was initiated by company president Carl Sewell Jr., who wants to see more television advertising.

Henderson said the selection committee will review the information received from the agencies and set dates for presentations. A final decision date has not been determined.

Sewell vice president of marketing Craig Innes, who is heading the review process, could not be reached for comment.

In addition to Cadillac, auto makes represented by Sewell include Saab, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, GMC, Chevrolet, Hummer and Infiniti.

The Sewell car dealership network is one of the oldest in the Dallas market. The company opened its first location in 1957 under Carl Sewell Sr.

The local agency review takes place as General Motors prepares to unveil a new Cadillac television campaign during Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3.

The new work features the hard-driving Led Zeppelin tune, “Rock and Roll.”

GM said the national campaign, from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in Troy, Mich., is the first to feature a Led Zeppelin song in a commercial setting.