Update: GMC Retains Publicis Groupe’s Engage M-1 After Creative Review

By Erik Oster 

Back in September, we learned that GMC had issued a creative RFP to “several agencies” regarding its GMC brand (but not Buick), with incumbents Leo Burnett and DigitasLBi (who collectively formed the Engage M-1 unite to service the client) invited to participate in the review. Leo Burnett has handled creative for GMC and Buick since 2007.

This week, sources with direct knowledge of the matter told us that GMC concluded the review by retaining its incumbent agency. GMC spent around $269 million in measured media on the brand in 2015, according to Kantar Media.

GMC confirmed the information on Thursday morning with the following statement:


GMC has concluded the RFP process for a new AOR and elected to retain creative resources within the Publicis agency umbrella, effective immediately. GMC is readying campaign work for 2017 that will continue to showcase our premium products under the long-running “We Are Professional Grade” tagline.

The Martin Agency was the other finalist in the review. According to our sources, the client tested both agencies’ work independently before reaching their decision.

This news follows the arrival of Andrew Swinand as North American CEO of Leo Burnett last month. One month prior, the agency picked up global AOR duties on Beam Suntory’s Jim Beam whiskey brand,following a review launched last September.

In addition to leading creative on both GMC and Buick since 2007, Leo Burnett has worked with the client in some capacity dating back 45 years. Chief creative officer Steve Chavez, who oversaw the global creative work on General Motors, left the agency in December.