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Published: June 26, 2006

For the first time in four years, General Motors is changing the main

advertising agency for one of its principal car brands.

General Motors said today that Modernista in Boston would become the creative

agency for its Cadillac division, effective Oct. 1. The assignment had been

handled by the Troy, Mich., office of Leo Burnett and predecessor agencies since


The shift was telegraphed in March when G.M. called on Modernista, the agency

for its Hummer brand, to do creative project work for Cadillac models like the

CTS sedan. At the time, Burnett, part of the Publicis Groupe, kept its

assignments for models like the Escalade.

Liz Vanzura, who recently became the Cadillac marketing director, worked with

Modernista when she was the Hummer marketing director.

Cadillac spends more $300 million a year on ads for all models. The last time

General Motors shifted an agency-of-record assignment was in 2002, when the

Saturn account was transferred to Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, part of the

Omnicom Group, from Publicis & Hal Riney, another part of the Publicis Groupe.

General Motors had some good news for Burnett at the same time that it delivered

the bad news about Cadillac. The company said that Burnett would keep an

assignment to create campaigns for the G.M. Service and Parts Operations

division and brands like G.M. Goodwrench. Spending on that assignment, which had

been under review, was estimated at $40 million a year.

The automaker changes agencies sparingly: the Cadillac shift is only the fourth

in a decade. But G.M. executives say the company's current sales slump is

causing them to re-examine longtime agency relationships, as part of a

comprehensive review of how General Motors operates.

New York Times


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