The NYT's media and advertising columnist, Stuart Elliott, thinks it may be (read the NYT article here). At a time when the average agency/client relationship seems shorter than a Martha Stewart prison term (less than a year as a reminder), GM has been long considered the most loyal of clients. Some of its relationships exist longer than 50 years, virtually unheard of today with CMO tenure down to under 2 years, disagreements over agency compensation and major shifts in ad channel strategies (fancy way to say: move to Internet ads). If the doors to GM's advertising coffers open up, Madison avenue is going to look like a river of blood as agencies go to battle to win a share of the second largest ad account in the U.S. (P&G spent $3.5 Billion last year). And if some of GM's recent moves are any indication (giving some of the Caddy business to small Boston based shop Modernista), the battle grounds will extend beyond Madison avenue.
Here's a look at some of GM's agencies.
Newer Agencies on GM
Goodby, Silverstein hawking Saturns.
Publicis Group picked up the company-wide media planning business in 2000.
Lowe Worldwide picked up the GMC creative assignment in 1997.
Deutsch picked up Chevy Sport work last November.
They say that only God has stuck with his ad agency longer. No, we have no idea what that means either.