Martin Gains Pontiac-GMC Dealer Work

By Katy Eckmann

ATLANTA–Martin Advertising in Birmingham, Ala., one of seven approved agencies competing in General Motors’ Pontiac-GMC division’s regional reviews, has been assigned ad duties for three dealer marketing groups , sources said.

Martin gained the estimated $20 million Eastern region Pontiac and GMC business–which includes dealers in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, upstate New York and parts of West Virginia–in a review that also included SAS Partners, Troy, Mich.; Terry L. Butz Creative, Waterloo, Iowa; and Alliance for Automotive Marketing in Albuquerque, N.M.

Insiders said Martin, which bills $40 million a year, also was assigned the Pontiac and GMC accounts in the mid-South region, comprising Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and parts of Alabama and Tennessee. Contenders and annual account billings were not disclosed.

Finally, the Great Lakes DMG, with dealers in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa and Wisconsin, awarded its Pontiac account to Martin without a review, sources said. The GMC portion has not been decided. The Great Lakes DMG’s ad budget was not disclosed.

Executives at Pontiac-GMC could not be reached for comment.

The Southeast DMG, which includes Georgia, Florida and parts of Alabama and Tennessee, is expected to launch a review of its account later this month.

The Pontiac and GMC divisions were consolidated in 1996. The 164 local Pontiac dealer groups and 167 GMC dealer groups are being combined to create 14 regional dealer associations. This year each plans to review its advertising account (Adweek, May 19).

Seven shops have been designated as approved agencies that Pontiac-GMC encourages regional groups to choose from for local dealer advertising. DMGs can choose one agency for both Pontiac and GMC, or separate agencies for the two auto lines.

The reviews are expected to be completed by the end of this year.

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