General Motors has moved creative duties for the Chevrolet truck line to Leo Burnett, taking the work from Commonwealth, the joint agency structure set up by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in the U.S. and McCann in the rest of the world.The two agencies retain the rest of the Chevy car business … for now.
It was obvious to everyone that Goodby and McCann were placed in an impossible position on the business by former GM marketing chief Joel Ewanick. The two shops are competitors. Yet they were supposed to work together. It was a giant conflict of interest from the get-go.
When Ewanick flamed out of GM amid a spectacular $559 million scandal surrounding the sponsorship of Manchester United, it left Goodby particularly exposed on the account. Goodby’s longtime relationship was with Ewanick, who brought the shop to the company.
At McCann, the deal was cemented by former CEO Nick Brien. With Brien gone, GM was left talking to new CEO Harris Diamond, who is a PR guy not an ad guy.
And those are just the recent events.
- Back in March, we noted that the conflict of interest that exists at the heart of Commonwealth seemed untenable.
- That same month, both McCann’s Brien and Jeff Goodby himself admitted there was a natural antipathy in the pact.
- In July, Ewanick’s departure left Goodby and McCann exposed.
- In November, Brien was pushed out of McCann.
- And now Ad Age says “GM is unhappy” with the work from Goodby.
If anyone can tell us why they believe Goodby and McCann will now prosper at GM, we’d love to hear from you, on or off the record.