DETROIT-SAS Partners is closing three of its regional offices after losing the bulk of the assignments it handled for General Motors' Pontiac-GMC division dealers, an agency executive confirmed last week.
The division, which spends $150-200 million on dealer advertising, recently completed a series of 14 regional reviews, leaving seven agencies with dealer business, down from 13.
SAS, Troy, Mich., handled advertising for nearly half of the GMC Dealer Marketing Groups before the contests began in March. The agency, whose estimated $35 million in billings from that client has significantly decreased, will close offices in Denver, Chicago and San Francisco, and lay off an undetermined number of employees because of its losses.
"SAS Partners is still the agency for the New York/New England zone," said Gunnar Wilmot, executive vice president, worldwide of SAS parent McCann-Erickson. "While it means a smaller SAS, it is also a focused SAS."
Martin Advertising in Birmingham, Ala., fared better, nearly doubling its dealer billings since the reviews began. Other shops that handle Pontiac and GMC dealer business are Roberts & Russell in Knoxville, Tenn.; Nichols Media Consultants in Sioux Falls, S.D.; Terry L. Butz Creative, Waterloo, Iowa; The Alliance for Automotive Marketing, Albuquerque, N.M.; and Graham Advertising, Colorado Springs, Colo. -with Katy Eckmann