Three Agencies Win Chevrolet Dealer Regional AMG Reviews

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Only one piece of Chevrolet dealer advertising business remains up for grabs–the Chicago area–following agency selections by three more Area Marketing Groups.

J.W. Messner, Grand Rapids, Mich., has been awarded its 11th piece of Chevrolet dealer business last week, the $10-12 million AMG account for St. Paul/Minneapolis, edging Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich.; DeMaine Vickers & Associates, Alexandria, Va.; and Strong Automotive Merchandising, Birmingham, Ala. Before the AMGs were formed by combining smaller Dealer Marketing Groups, Chevrolet national agency CEA had much of that area’s business.

Messner captured the majority of the $300 million in Chevrolet dealer business thus far, winning 11 of the 26 reviews. Before the review process began early this year, Messner had 40 Dealer Marketing Groups. The 11 AMGs include about 80 DMGs, and his billings have grown about 50 percent, said agency president Jim Messner.

The agency plans to open an office in the St. Paul/Minneapolis area in the near future. ‘I’m really looking forward to the end of the reviews so we can get back to focusing completely on doing good advertising,’ Messner said.

Meanwhile, the $8 million Iowa AMG was awarded to Graham Advertising in Colorado Springs, Colo., who beat out Messner, Strong, B.A. Advertising in Dallas, and Kragie/Newell in Des Moines.

The $4 million Northern AMG Rocky Mountain Region, which includes Montana, Wyoming and the western halves of North Dakota and South Dakota, was awarded to Kragie/Newell, competing against Graham, Strong, and CEA.

The AMG is still being formed in the Chicago area. Dealers would prefer two AMGs, one for metropolitan Chicago and another for the surrounding areas, including Milwaukee and South Bend, and Fort Wayne, Ind. But Chevrolet national has been lobbying for one AMG for the entire region, with a $12-18 million account.

The issue should be worked out and the subsequent reviews are expected within the next month. Likely competitors include Lois/EJL in Chicago, which currently handles the Chicago DMG; CEA, which has the Milwaukee business; and Messner, which has DMG business in outlying Illinois markets including Peoria and Decatur.

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