Joel Ewanick is proving he’s not a patient man.
Arriving a little over a month ago as GM’s new VP-marketing, Ewanick is moving Cadillac’s account- for the second time in six months. Ewanick inherited Bartle Bogle Hegarty, New York, hired after a review in January to replace independent Modernista, Boston.
BBH’s work looked more like music videos than ads for new models, which got lost in the executions.
BBH\’s Cadillac commercial
Cadillac deserves better than this. The once-iconic luxury brand was once the “Standard of the World” and had been starting its climb back up the mountain until GM hit the skids.
The truth is the industry grapevine had been buzzing well BEFORE Joel’s arrival that there was friction on the account, so much so that the Cadillac folks brought in veteran car creative Gary Topolewski to help out BBH. No surprise there since Caddy exec director-advertising Kim Brink (aka Kosak) and her boss, Susan Docherty, then VP-marketing of North America, had worked with Gary during their gigs earlier this decade in advertising at the brand when he was creative chief at Caddy’s agency, D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles in Troy, Michigan.
Those were heady days for Cadillac, which was enjoying a product renaissance with slicker new products and running its “Break Through” ad blitz featuring Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll.”
Ewanick is moving the account to Fallon, Minneapolis, as first reported this morning by Adweek, although a GM spokeswoman declined any comment on the matter at mid-day June 24.
Since both Fallon and BBH are part of Publicis Groupe, the move is a wash in terms of revenues for the holding company, albeit a major embarrassment.
The move means Fallon will have to resign the Chrysler brand, which it won in January, and throws another piece of Detroit business up in the air.
Ewanick already moved Chevrolet’s account to Omnicom Group’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco without a review. Ewanick worked with Goodby during his nearly 9 years as general marketing manager of Porsche Cars North America and he worked with the agency during his tenure at Hyundai. He also worked with Fallon, which lost the Porsche account to Goodby in 1993.
Fallon had a pretty decent track record during its 10-year run as BMW’s agency of record, which lasted until 2005, when a management shift at the client sparked an agency review and the agency resigned over the matter. Fallon was the brains behind BMW’s “The Hire” online film series that set a high bar in that category.
Hopefully lightning will strike again for Fallon on Cadillac.
MAKING TRACKS: On June 23, Russell Wager left David&Goliath, Kia’s U.S. creative ad agency, where he had been a managing partner since late 2006 on the car account. He’s moving from California to Japan, where he will start July 5 at TBWA/Hakuhodo in Tokyo on Nissan and Infiniti. Wager spent 13 years at TBWA’s Playa del Rey, California office as a partner-account director overseeing the Nissan and Infiniti account.