DETROIT – When Oldsmobile contacts advertising agencies to be finalists this week in its $140-million review, sources here said there should be no shockers. Expected" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

Olds Holds No Shockers In Review By David Kile

DETROIT – When Oldsmobile contacts advertising agencies to be finalists this week in its $140-million review, sources here said there should be no shockers. Expected

The complexion of the review, expected to be decided next month, has changed dramatically since it began last September. After visiting more than a dozen agencies, the selection committee – made up of five Olds staffers and five Olds dealers – is said to have realized the need for an agency with the size and resources of Burnett.
While the review was undertaken for symbolic reasons and to appease dealers frustrated with years of Olds division mismanagement, it’s unusual for General Motors, which has historically dealt with agency disagreements by demanding changes in agency personnel.
Toward that end, Burnett is expected to deliver a presentation later this month, which will include sweeping changes of personnel, philosophy and strategy: a ‘reinvention of the account,’ a source said.
While Burnett is seen as a favorite to keep the business by many observers, Lowe & Partners is an interesting challenger because of the deep pockets of parent Interpublic Group, which includes Chevy shop Lintas: Campbell-Ewald and Buick/GMC agencies McCann-Erickson and McCann SAS.
Ayer, GM’s corporate agency, would be a strong contender too, but agency chairman Jerry Siano was known to still be in active merger negotiations – including due diligence – with Ketchum Communications, which has the Acura account.
Ammirati & Puris, which recently resigned BMW North America when it called a review, still has its car account team in place.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)