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McCann's Neel to Oversee GM

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DETROIT McCann-Erickson has created a new position to oversee the agency's global relationship with General Motors.

Garry Neel, already managing director of the Interpublic Group's Detroit office, will now take on the additional role of GM worldwide account director.

Neel will work closely with John Dooner, chairman and chief executive officer of McCann-Erickson WorldGroup, and with McCann's GM teams in the 45 countries in which the agency has the automaker's business. Neel will continue overseeing McCann's Detroit operations.

A McCann representative declined to disclose the agency's worldwide billings with GM. The automaker spent about $165 million on Buick advertising in the U.S. in 2002, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR, and about $200 million on corporate advertising, both of which are handled by McCann in Detroit.

Neel has worked not only on the Buick and GM accounts at McCann, but also on Toyota, Infiniti and Chevrolet in previous assignments. Prior to his current role at McCann Detroit, Neel managed the GM Europe account in Zurich, Switzerland, and Frankfurt, Germany, for several years.

"This newly created worldwide position will help McCann better lead and grow one of our largest and most valued clients," said Dooner in a statement. "Garry will ensure we continue to deliver to GM the highest caliber of integrated WorldGroup resources on a global scale, including advertising, relationship marketing, public relations, event marketing, media management, branding, and more."

McCann in Detroit handles GM's Buick division and GM corporate advertising, as well as Delphi Corp., a GM spin-off.