GM ad agencies under review?


According to a Reuters story, General Motors is reviewing its contracts with agencies and other vendors to see whether they should be renewed as the automaker battles a liquidity crisis amid plummeting auto sales.
GM spent $1 billion on advertising in the first half of this year, making it the third largest advertiser in the United States, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

Most of GM’s U.S. advertising is handled by units of Interpublic Group and Publicis Groupe.

Reuters says sources close to GM said The Martin Retail Group, a unit of Publicis, which handles advertising for Buick, Pontiac, GMC and Cadillac dealerships, had been informed by the automaker that it could not guarantee the ad agency’s contract beyond 12/31.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, one source familiar with the matter said the GM was reviewing all of its advertising contracts.

"In this climate, it’s obvious that (GM is) evaluating every agreement with advertising agencies," the source told Reuters. "(GM is) obviously looking at at all (its) business in this volatile environment, and yes, (GM is) looking at every contract as (it) comes to renewal…The (vendors) know the reality as well.”

A GM spokesperson said the company would not comment on individual contracts.

RBR/TVBR observation: We wonder if this also includes Starcom MediaVest Group’s dedicated GM media planning and buying group (formerly dubbed GM Planworks).