General Motors has combined its worldwide media-buying and planning account with Aegis Group's Carat unit of London in an effort to reduce costs and advertising agencies. GM's global chief marketing officer Joel Ewanick related that they wanted a media-agency partner with the "sophistication" in order to influence worldwide marketing opportunities.
He further stated that Carat has an "innovative approach" to bring significant marketing value, adding that their service model has been designed to "align well" with their worldwide and regional brands.
The media account will be operated worldwide by Martin Cass, who was former president of Carat USA and joined Aegis earlier this year. The account will be overseen in the United States by Carat USA President Doug Ray.
On the other hand, GM's worldwide marketing team, which is headed by Ewanick, oversaw the review, with the aid of search consultancy R3:JLB. Ewanick disclosed that GM anticipates a reduction in expenses of millions of dollars or more by lowering the number of marketing partners it engages worldwide.
In its 2011 annual report, GM reported global worldwide advertising costs of $4.26 billion for 2010. The Advertising Age Data Center estimates that in 2009, GM shelled out $3.37 billion on worldwide media. Prior to the review, the company engages with 40 agencies all over the world. Media-buying tasks in China and India were not part of the review.
In the review's final stage, the automaker heard pitches from four agency holding companies. Carat competed against Omnicom Media Group, Publicis Groupe's Starcom (the U.S. incumbent) and Interpublic Group of Cos. (the incumbent in Latin America). Carat had managed the account in Europe.