GM launching $3 billion global media review


Now that GM has all of its creative agencies in place, the next step for the automaker is a global media review. In its March 2011 10-K, GM reported worldwide ad spend of $4.26 billion in calendar 2010. While that $4.26 billion figure also represents creative work, the bulk of it is media spend. Ad Age estimates the media alone is in the $3 billion range.

Since GM emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, creative settled on moving Chevrolet to Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, from Publicis. Publicis Groupe’s Fallon got Cadillac from Bartle Bogle Hegarty. US Hispanic creative went to LatinWorks.

Said GM in a statement: “As part of its normal review of business processes, General Motors will request proposals on ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of its global operations for purchased media. The request for proposal (RFP) will be issued to several global media companies and will include all consumer-facing planning and buying operations in support of all media channels including print, digital, broadcast, SEO and social media.”

GM said it currently uses more than 20 media buying agencies globally. Starcom had handled buying and planning for GM in the U.S. since 2005; Carat handles GM in Europe; the majority of the Latin American business is run by Universal McCann; India and China are not included in the review.

“We’re looking for an innovative model that helps us become more effective in leveraging global marketing opportunities more efficiently,” said Joel Ewanick, GM VP/global chief marketing officer. “We will make a comprehensive assessment of all options before reaching a decision and in fact, may end up validating our current approach.”

GM spent about 67% of its 2010 worldwide advertising and sales promotion money in North America, according to its 10-K.