Publicis unveils global General Motors operation

NEW YORK - With the D'Arcy name set to disappear from advertising, Publicis Groupe has unveiled its plans to form a new global organisation devoted solely to servicing one client, General Motors.

General Motors, the largest advertiser in the US, uses Publicis Groupe agencies in every region in the world, and the car maker is what Publicis describes as a "leading client". The car maker had been a major client of D'Arcy as well as of Leo Burnett.

The as-yet-unnamed new agency will be headquartered in Detroit, Michigan -- the city otherwise known as Motor City and Motown -- and will comprise parts of D'Arcy, as the agency is broken up and folded into Publicis Groupe's three other advertising networks, and Leo Burnett Worldwide.

The new organisation will draw upon resources from D'Arcy and Leo Burnett and will be part of Leo Burnett Worldwide.

Roger Haupt, who is president and chief operating officer of Publicis Groupe, will take the role of chairman at the new group, while Patrick Sherwood, formerly CEO of D'Arcy North America, will be president and chief executive officer.

According to Haupt: "We formed this new agency with the support of GM. They have partnered with us every step of the way to design a new organisation that will reach a diverse consumer through creative marketing solutions."

The creation of a new division to handle GM follows a similar move by the Interpublic Group of Companies, which created PentaMark Worldwide, staffed by executives from BBDO Worldwide and Foote Cone & Belding, specifically to handle its international DaimlerChrysler account.

D'Arcy has recently created a successful campaign in the US for GM's Cadillac, which featured music by Led Zeppelin and successfully targeted younger consumers after years of attempts by the car maker to do so.

The restructure at Publicis Groupe follows its merger with Bcom3 in September. Maurice Levy, chairman and CEO, has said that the company will now focus on its three international advertising networks: Saatchi & Saatchi; Publicis Worldwide; and Leo Burnett.

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