McCann Helps GM on Olds Campaign

Buick agency McCann-Erickson has been brought in to help revive creative efforts behind Oldsmobile as General Motors scours its roster for a winning idea.

Marketing officials for GM’s Olds unit said they are considering ideas for a first-quarter 2001 campaign from Mc-Cann’s New York office, as well as Olds roster shops Leo Burnett and E. Morris Communications, both in Chicago. Burnett does national and regional creative for Olds; E. Morris does African American-targeted work. McCann in Troy, Mich., is the shop’s lead office on Buick.

Sources said there has been dissatisfaction “at some fairly high levels” inside the automaker with Burnett’s creative for Olds. Burnett’s “Start something” tagline is likely to be scrapped, sources said. Olds officials said that decision has not been made and emphasized that Burnett is not in trouble on the $330 million account.

“The opportunity is to work [with McCann] in addition to Leo Burnett, but by no means is it any reflection on Leo Burnett,” said Randall Tallerico, named ad director for Olds last week.

“I can understand it’s nice to have more than one option,” said Linda Wolf, CEO of Burnett Worldwide, downplaying reports of dissatisfaction.

McCann’s involvement with Olds is limited to the divisional work, said Gus Buenz, Olds communications director. The brand has been changing for several years, Tallerico said, as it has taken this long for its entire product lineup to turn over. “There’s been a positive momentum; now it’s just pushing it to the next level,” he said.