Publicis Worldwide Wins Cadillac

By Patrick Coffee 


This morning Cadillac made its big decision: Publicis Worldwide will be its global creative agency of record.

The (very quiet) review began in September when the brand chose to end its partnership with Hill Holliday, and Cadillac will no longer work with IPG agencies moving forward.


Earlier reports held that, while IPG had chosen to fold the Rogue unit it created to serve the client after the Hill Holliday decision, its Lowe and Partners group would take over the account with creative run out of New York and management handled by Campbell Ewald in Detroit. AdAge reported that “the only shop that’s really losing out on Rogue is Hill Holliday,” but that is no longer the case.

The news amounts to a major loss for IPG, which held the account for little over a year after Cadillac’s Fallon breakup prompted the agency’s CEO to write a note calling the decision “an outcome we do not deserve.” The holding company announced a cross-agency realignment to more effectively serve the client when Cadillac named a new president in August (following the appointment of a new CMO in January), but those efforts were not enough to retain the business.

What’s not clear at the moment is how the review unfolded: Cadillac did not announce it or make any public comments, and we don’t know which agencies were involved beyond Lowe and Publicis.

Read the full internal memo from Publicis CEO Arthur Sadoun — which thanks CSOs Carla Serrano, Dylan Williams, and more — below.

Dear all,

Today is an excellent day.

Today we are delighted to announce that Cadillac has chosen us as its global creative and strategy partner.

As some of you may know, Cadillac has huge ambitions, namely to become a global iconic luxury brand by strengthening its distinctiveness, desirability, and value.

After a four-month pitch, the client took the decision to leave IPG and partner with Publicis WW as the brand embarks on its new journey.

This is a turning point in our recent history.

Cadillac is a structuring business for our network and a key company at one of the most powerful global groups, General Motors. Their decision to partner with us demonstrates to the world our ability to attract the very biggest brands.

But most of all, it represents the opportunity to be associated with the rebirth of one of the most iconic brands in the world, one which will prove to be an incredibly audacious client.

I would like to warmly thank those of you who have contributed to this brilliant victory. Across the US, the UK, France and China, great talents have been working day and night to make magic happen.

This was an amazing team effort and it would be impossible to name everybody involved, but there are one or two individuals I’d like to single out for particular thanks.

First of all Carla, who has been simply amazing. With her great mind and incredible personality, she incarnated everything that we want Publicis WW to bring to a pitch : great strategic thinking that leads to breakthrough work. Carla, you are a star.

Dylan, who has totally changed the perception that any client can have of an advertising partner. He has given our approach a level of modernity and innovation that has elevated us to another dimension.

Andy and his team in London have just amazed me: they have been able to deliver first-class creative work with the flexibility and reactiveness that has made all the difference. Andy, I will never be able to thank you enough.

Joe and his team in New York have also been fantastic. In actual fact, they have found the piece of work that has given us a critical advantage at a key moment.

Going to France now : a big thanks to Jérôme and his team, who since day one have been breathing, sleeping and eating Cadillac to transform what started as an informal chat I had with the CMO at a hotel into the biggest win Publicis WW has gained in more than a decade. Merci les amis.

Last but far from least, Mr Andrew Bruce.  It has been a huge privilege for me to partner with you over these four very intense months. Your energy and drive has made a huge difference.

Voilà, I could go on and on but now it’s time to get back to work and make history with Cadillac.

One more thing before I go. Let me tell you, if you’d have been in the room at the Drugstore in London, surrounded by young start-ups and presenting great ideas to the Cadillac CEO, I’m sure you’d have had the very same impression that I had this day : Publicis Worldwide is on its way to becoming the best creative network on the planet.