Tatham Handling Buick Project

Connections made while at Leo Burnett have helped Euro RSCG Tatham president Bob Welke land a project from General Motors’ Buick division.
Tatham is completing a 4- to 5-minute film for a new Buick prototype automobile to be shown during internal presentations and at next year’s auto shows, said Jack Bowen, Buick’s advertising manager.
Welke and Bowen previously worked together at Leo Burnett, in the creative and account management departments, respectively, and that relationship led to Tatham’s assignment. Burnett is national agency for GM’s Oldsmobile division.
Both men downplayed the significance of the project and its implications for a future relationship between the companies. “Tatham is doing a one-time project for us on a non-core product,” Bowen said. “This is just a ‘one-off’ project.”
Nonetheless, Tatham has launched a major effort this year to gain new business and recapture its creative lustre, and insiders said agency executives are enthused about working for a blue-chip behemoth like GM.
Bowen said the project has no affect on the status of McCann-Erickson in Troy, Mich., as national agency for Buick, and that hiring an outside agency is not unusual for the Detroit automaker.
“It’s something we do all the time, use other marketing partners,” Bowen said. “In this case we needed a high-quality film, and we figured we’d work with them.
“I felt comfortable that they could do the job for us,” he said of Tatham. “McCann does not do everything for us. It’s been a busy year here. We want to make sure that we’re focusing on all of our core businesses with [McCann], and they’re doing a great job on that stuff.”
Welke said the project does not pose a conflict for sister agency Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro RSCG, New York, which handles Volvo Cars of North America.
Tatham’s film will be used in such venues as internal employee and dealer meetings and press events, Bowen said.