As expected, General Motors has fired Goodby, Silverstein & Partners from its Chevrolet ad account, and given the entire business to McCann, the agency tells us.
The win is a huge victory for new McCann CEO Harris Diamond, who cancelled his schedule at the 4A’s conference to meet with General Motors earlier this week, Adweek reported.
Diamond is under pressure to turn McCann around. The agency has suffered several high-profile account losses in recent years. Diamond will likely use this win to signal that McCann is back.
The split with Goodby was predicted by Business Insider as far back as last July, due to the unusual conflict at the heart of the GM-Goodby-McCann triad. GM had asked Goodby and McCann to form a joint agency, called Commonwealth, to service the business in a 50-50 split, with Goodby handling Chevy in the U.S. and McCann handling international duties. That created a conflict of interest at the heart of the account: Goodby and McCann are rivals, and so are their parent companies, Omnicom and Interpublic Group.
About 200 Goodby staffers must now decide whether they want to stay on the account and transfer jobs to McCann, Ad Age notes.
Founder Jeff Goodby traveled to Detroit on Tuesday, apparently to receive the bad news.
GM had asked McCann and Goodby to share the account for more than a year, a relationship that was troubled from the start and became rockier when former GM CMO Joel Ewanick — who had brought Goodby on to the business — exited the company last July.
The split also caps a weird chapter in Chevy’s history. Goodby was originally brought on to the brand by former marketing chief Joel Ewanick. But Ewanick left the company after allegations surfaced that he had tried to conceal from his employers the full scope of a $559 million sponsorship of Manchester United.
Here’s McCann’s press release:
McCann Worldgroup, an Interpublic Group company, today announced it will assume sole responsibility for Commonwealth, Chevrolet’s global advertising agency, assuming the 50-percent joint ownership share held by Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom Group company.
Commonwealth will continue to serve as Chevrolet’s global advertising agency of record and work in conjunction with both IPG and Omnicom resources, including Agency 720 and Fleishman-Hillard.
All current employees of Goodby’s Detroit office will be offered employment consistent with their current employment terms.
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