APL In Danger On GM’s Onstar Account

General Motors may soon remove creative responsibilities for its OnStar navigation system from Ammirati Puris Lintas, sources said.
GM has already asked Campbell-Ewald Advertising in Warren, Mich., to create a fall OnStar campaign with sister shop C-E Communications, sources said. CEA is national agency for GM’s Chevrolet division, while C-E handles direct marketing for OnStar.
There are “serious discussions” under way between CEA and GM about a long-term relationship involving OnStar, sources said. GM’s MediaWorks unit handles media buying.
An APL representative said the agency has no indication that the account is leaving. One source said there have been problems on the business, but APL and GM are committed to working through them.
CEA executives declined comment.
An OnStar representative said only that GM has “some things in test.”
OnStar is a mobile communications device that combines a satellite global positioning system with a cellular phone. It is available in all Cadillacs and in some other GM models. APL took over the roughly $20 million account from D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., last year.
The client is also said to be somewhat dissatisfied with APL’s job on GMC trucks. While GM is satisfied with media planning and strategy on the $120 million account, sources said the client is unhappy with the account service and creative work. APL took the business last year from IPG’s McCann-Erickson office in Troy.
APL recently assigned a new creative team to GMC, but said the move was not made at the client’s request.