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Omnicom, IPG JV Commonwealth to service GM’s Chevy global account

The 50: 50 JV is between Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom Group company, and McCann Erickson Worldwide, an Interpublic Group company. Prasoon Joshi is on the eight-member Global Advisory Board for the Chevy business

BestMediaInfo Bureau | Delhi | March 28, 2012

In an unprecedented move, General Motors has selected a newly formed company, Commonwealth, as its new global advertising agency, responsible for the development of creative campaigns across all platforms for its Chevrolet brand. GM had put the account on review sometime back. The Detroit-based Commonwealth is a 50:50 joint venture between San Francisco-based Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom Group company, and New York-based McCann Erickson Worldwide, an Interpublic Group company.

In forming the joint venture, Commonwealth combines a wealth of creative talent, extensive global automotive experience and strategic business leadership that is unique in the industry. Chevrolet previously used 70 global agencies.

"This is the first time that two large marketing communications holding companies have come together to form a single company," said GM Vice-President and Global Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. "Commonwealth will be based right here in Detroit, and its only focus will be on strengthening and growing Chevrolet into an iconic global brand."

This agency appointment, combined with the recent selection of Carat as GM's agency for its media planning and buying operations, is part of the company's ongoing effort to drive efficiencies in its marketing operations and more effectively build its brands around the world.

"These agency consolidations are expected to create about $2 billion in savings over the next five years, with a portion used to take advantage of key global marketing opportunities and strengthen the focus on our global Chevrolet brand, and a portion hitting the bottom line," Ewanick said.

Commonwealth will be guided by an eight-person Global Advisory Board, which will oversee all creative initiatives and strategy for Chevy globally. Assignments will be handled through global hubs, which will operate in Detroit, Milan, Mumbai and Sao Paulo, and will ensure consistent global branding across the diversity of local markets.

The board includes four of the most-accomplished creative executives in the industry: Jeff Goodby, who will serve as Creative Chairman; Washington Olivetto, McCann Worldgroup Latin America Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Linus Karlsson, McCann New York and London Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, and Prasoon Joshi, Chairman, McCann Worldgroup India. The four creative leaders will work in collaboration on all major creative initiatives and resource allocations.

Commonwealth will immediately begin to transition responsibility for Chevrolet creative work in most global regions, with the exception of China, India and Uzbekistan, where these activities will continue to be managed by agencies specific to those countries.

"We are absolutely thrilled to be a part of the team to win Chevy's global creative business, taking our relationship one step further," said Goodby, Co-Chairman and Creative Director, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. "I feel fortunate to have been able to watch a group of the very best people at the top of their game during this process. Joel Ewanick has always been willing to push boundaries and try new concepts, and the fact that he was open to this approach is the perfect example of that. We're excited to see what Commonwealth can mean for both Chevrolet and us."

Until now, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners has led the Chevy’s creative account in the US, the brand's largest market, while McCann Worldwide has been Chevy’s agency of record in many global markets, including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Japan, China and Latin America.

“We are delighted to be expanding our relationship with the dynamic Chevrolet brand and with General Motors," said Nick Brien, chairman and CEO, McCann Worldgroup. "The Commonwealth solution is testament to McCann and Goodby's unrelenting focus on creating marketing solutions that grow clients' brands through creativity, digital velocity and performance."

Info@BestMediaInfo.com

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