GM Shops Go Regional

General Motors’ five national agencies are preparing to take on the automaker’s regional advertising duties, previously handled by dozens of agencies across the country.
D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, Troy, Mich., the only agency that handles two car brands (Pontiac and Cadillac), is putting together a regional marketing organization built around existing brand teams, led by brand marketing partners, said Patrick Sherwood, managing director of the Troy office.
Chris Balicki and John Woodruff have been named regional account directors on Pontiac and Cadillac, respectively. They will lead regional marketing partners, the regional equivalent of brand-marketing partners. Balicki has directed DMB&B’s existing regional marketing organization for the past several years; Woodruff joins the agency from TBWA/Chiat/Day in Atlanta.
The agency has already filled most of its 10 regional marketing partner positions, one for each brand in each region.
In Los Angeles, Paul Knapp joins DMB&B from Bromley, Aguilar & Associates, a sister agency within the MacManus Group, to lead Cadillac. Karen Marchant rejoins the agency to head the Pontiac business there. In Chicago, Mark Testere, formerly a managing account director on Saab for the Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., will lead Cadillac business. Priscilla Margason, formerly of Grey Advertising in Orange County, will lead Pontiac activities there.
In New York, Scott Metzger and Ann O’Neil join as regional marketing directors on Pontiac and Cadillac, respectively. Metzger was formerly with TBWA/Chiat/Day, while O’Neil joins DMB&B from Publicis. Robert M. Miller, formerly of Doner, Southfield, Mich., will assume one of the two posts in Atlanta. Robert J. Forbus, formerly of Bozell Worldwide in Southfield, Mich., will lead one of the teams out of Dallas.
Leo Burnett in Chicago, the national agency for Oldsmobile, has established five regional offices called Leo Burnett Fieldworks. The agency has hired John Seibel, formerly the regional account director for American Honda Motor Co. at Rubin Postaer and Associates in Chicago, to oversee the entire Fieldworks operation. He reports to Neil Lichtman, Oldsmobile client services director at Burnett.
Additionally, each regional office has its own director: in New York, Kevin Honey (formerly of Trainor Associates); in Atlanta, Bobby Medlin (formerly with Michelin North America); in Dallas, Ann Peebles (formerly in marketing for Wyndham International); in Los Angeles, Tracey Clanton (formerly with the Office of National Drug Control); and in Chicago, Greg Parker (formerly with Trainor).
Both DMB&B and Burnett designed their organizations similarly in that they have account people in the regions but the majority of duties remain in the main offices.
Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Warren, Mich., has named Mark Bellissimo to head its regional marketing operations. Bellissimo, a longtime agency employee, was formerly the group management supervisor on Chevrolet trucks. The agency declined to comment on the rest of its structure or plans to staff its regional offices.
Ammirati Puris Lintas, New York, GM’s national agency for the GMC truck brand, and McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich., the automaker’s national agency for Buick, could not be reached by press time.
Reassigning the work was part of a larger GM marketing reorganization that included dividing the country into five regions and servicing all brands out of one office in each region. GM regional offices are headquartered in the Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New York metro areas.

Recommended articles