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GM Van Marketers Appoint First Agency

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ATLANTA Mullen has won the advertising account of the Conversion Van Marketing Association, a newly formed trade organization funded by General Motors, the client confirmed.

The association expects to spend $2.2 million on advertising this year, said Rod McSweeney, chairman and president of the association and owner of Southern Comfort Conversions in Trussville, Ala. Future spending could reach as much as $20 million, McSweeney said. Sources value the account at between $12 million and $15 million.

General Motors is paying for the advertising through a discretionary fund set up to help finance the association, he said. The size of the fund increases as sales of GM vans increase.

The campaign is the first for the association and includes print ads and a new Web site. The first print piece, a full page ad in Automotive News magazine, debuted in July. The Web site is scheduled to launch this fall.

The Wenham, Mass., and Detroit offices of Interpublic Group's Mullen beat two Michigan-based agencies in a review for the account—IPG's Campbell-Ewald of Warren, Mich., and Publicis Groupe's Chemistri in Troy, Mich. There was no incumbent. Mullen also maintains an office in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Mullen also holds the accounts of GM's certified used car program and credit card business.