Last week, Cadillac dropped its advertising agency, the Detroit, Michigan-based Lowe Campbell Ewald, to pursue a partnership with Publicis Worldwide. The move means a $279 million loss for Lowe Campbell Ewald, but some in the advertising industry think the agency will be better off without Cadillac’s business.
CEO of Detroit-based design company Skidmore Studio, Tim Smith, told Media Post “Lowe Campbell Ewald is an iconic and creatively strong shop that will be better off without the drama that GM continues to create. They are better off, in my opinion, without the schizophrenic behavior of a bad client.”
We assume what Smith means by schizophrenic is unpredictable and self-contradictory. It’s hard to say what makes Detroit’s ad industry think so little of Cadillac, however he could be referring to the creation and abrupt disbandment of its Rogue ad firm. Rogue, created specifically to hand the Cadillac account, was a collaboration between Interpublic, Hill Holiday and Lowe-Campbell Ewald. It was scrapped after only one year of operations.
Cadillac is also going through a multitude of important changes, from the relocation of its offices to New York City to its new plan to report its earnings separately from GM. The brand has been in an almost constant state of transformation in recent years, changing agencies numerous times, and is now partnering with Publicis as it attempts to find a more consistent path and image.
“We will have substantially new marketing and brand identity work in early 2015,” Cadillac spokesperson David Caldwell told Autoblog following its Publicis announcement.
GM’s history with Lowe Campbell Ewald started 91 years ago, when the agency first partnered up with the automaker to handle its Chevrolet account. It moved its Chevy marketing operations to Publicis in 2010, and has continued to distance itself from the company in relieving it of the Cadillac account.