GM Chooses UK Agency over US for Media Buying


Earlier this week, General Motors’ (GM) CMO Joel Ewanick announced its $3 billion account will be taken over at the end of June by one of UK’s media planning & buying specialist, Carat!  Hasn’t GM every heard of the saying, “you help me out, I’ll help you out?”

So quick the company forgot about its 2009 bailout by the United States.  When General Motors needed the assistance, the government was able to financially secure the company.  Without the government intervening, the auto industry and its suppliers across the country would have closed down.  As a result, hundreds of thousands of people would have been without jobs.

Does General Motors understand that what it was trying to avoid a couple of years ago, it is now choosing to do?  By choosing to invest its $3 billion in Carat, instead of its current agency, Starcom, (located in Chicago), GM is implementing a decision that will affect more than itself.  Even though this decision will affect more than its employees, General Motors is content that the marketing campaigns are more important than those who will turn be viewing them[campaigns].

In an Ad Week article, GM Traps Carat for Global Media Planning and Buying, Katie Feola explains that Carat’s new $3 billion account will include global planning, buying duties and medias including social and digital.

Joel Ewanick explained the reason for the change as, “We wanted a media agency partner with the sophistication to leverage global marketing opportunities.  Carat has an innovative approach to drive significant marketing value, and their service model has been tailored to align well with our global and regional brand.”

With the decision recently being released, probably following with several more statements, there are sure to be more questions asked.  Some of ours include:

  • Besides being on the other side of the glob, does Carat’s global marketing opportunities and value outweigh a US company, including those on Madison Ave.,  Leo Burnett, and what about Starcom?
  • How will this affect Starcom’s employees and revenue once a billion dollar account is taken away?

How are other consumer’s feeling about the shift of $3 billion US money being put into the hands of a UK company?  Are you willing to still trust GM, who encourages consumers to invest in American made cars, when the company itself isn’t investing its money here?


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About promotionalguru

A marketing communications professional helping other marketing professionals, business leaders and marketing students gain a better understanding of trends in advertising and public relations as well as tips for being a successful marketer.

2 responses to “GM Chooses UK Agency over US for Media Buying”

  1. Emily says :

    The Starcom agency that served GM is located in Detroit, MI, not Chicago (where Starcom’s main office is), so this decision will be taking more business out of a struggling city.

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