General Motors has confirmed that it is shifting lead creative duties on its Chevrolet brand to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, as Adweek first reported on Wednesday.
But in a twist on what sources had previously indicated, GM said that the agency would handle "all advertising work" on Chevy, including retail and sponsorship ads. Sources had expected GM to rehire Campbell-Ewald for those tasks.
To manage the account, Goodby for the first time in its 27 years of existence will open an office outside of San Francisco. The Omnicom Group agency's second office will be in Detroit.
The move comes two weeks after GM hired Joel Ewanick as vice president of U.S. marketing, and reflects Ewanick's strong confidence in Goodby, his agency when he led marketing at Hyundai Motor America.
"Based on my personal experience working with Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, I'm confident they have the creativity and ability to take the iconic Chevrolet brand to the next level -- and to do it fast," said Ewanick, in a statement.
Major media spending on Chevy totaled nearly $650 million last year, down from $685 million in 2008, according to Nielsen. Those figures don't include online spending, however.
The move comes after GM executives met with Goodby execs in San Francisco earlier this week and undoes last month's consolidation of the nameplate's creative duties at Publicis Groupe's Publicis. That shop was in the process of absorbing trucks, retail and sponsorship duties after landing creative chores on sedans in December.
GM's about-face also illustrates the decision-making power Ewanick sought when he accepted the GM role, just weeks after joining Nissan as vp of marketing. At GM, Ewanick oversees four brands: Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.
In a broader sense, the hiring of Goodby puts an Omnicom agency in a stable of GM roster shops long dominated by Publicis Groupe and Interpublic.