$140 Mil. in Cadillac Shifts to Modernista!

LOS ANGELES Independent Modernista! is adding additional Cadillac creative chores from General Motors, picking up the Escalade, XLR, DTS and STS models, as well as brand advertising assignments, from Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett without a review, the client has confirmed.

All told, the models moving to Modernista! received about $140 million in combined ad support last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Boston-based Modernista! in March added creative duties on Cadillac’s SRX, CTS and V series, which receive about $100 million in annual measured media support [Adweek Online, March 3]. Advertising for those lines had also been with Burnett.

“We’ve been part of General Motors’ roster for five years [on Hummer] and are excited to assume new responsibilities on the brands we support,” said Clift Jones, Modernista!’s president, in a statement.

The realignment starts Oct. 1, according to GM. (The automaker also said Burnett and Interpublic Group’s McCann Erickson in Detroit have been awarded local dealer advertising for Cadillac, Hummer and Saab.)

“We regret Cadillac has made the decision to part ways, but we remain deeply committed to GM and plan to be a part of their continued comeback,” said Burnett president Jim Moore, in a statement. The agency’s Detroit office retains Pontiac and GM’s “Mr. Goodwrench” advertising.

Burnett made several creative shifts in the last few years to bolster its GM business. Those included hiring executive vice president and executive creative director Tor Myhren, formerly on the Infiniti brand at Omnicom’s TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. Myhren in turn appointed Will Perry last July to lead Cadillac creative. The agency declined comment beyond Moore’s statement.

The move ends one of the longest client-agency relationships in advertising history. Under a various names (including D’Arcy Advertising, DMB&B, and MacManus John & Adams), the same agency has had Cadillac since 1935.

The original agency principal, Theodore MacManus, wrote a famous Cadillac advertisement called “The Penalty of Leadership” for the Saturday Evening Post in 1915, before the agency was assigned the brand.

Liz Vanzura, who had led marketing duties on GM’s Hummer brand, was named CMO at Cadillac in March.