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Commonwealth picks up Silverado work from Leo Burnett

Melissa Burden
The Detroit News

General Motors Co.’s Chevrolet brand has switched advertising agencies for its Silverado pickup from Leo Burnett Detroit to Commonwealth//McCann, the automaker said Thursday.

Chevrolet said in a statement that the move was made to “streamline business and ensure consistency.”

“The work was given to Leo Burnett to balance the unprecedented number of launches the brand had in 2013 during a time that Commonwealth//McCann was expanding globally to support Chevrolet,” Chevrolet said in the statement. “We’ve been very pleased with the work from Leo Burnett and wish them well as they continue their focus on GMC and Buick.”

In a statement, Leo Burnett said it was proud of the work it did for Silverado and its continued relationship with GM.

“The leadership of the agency is working to determine the impact of (the) loss, but expect it could result in staff reductions,” Leo Burnett said in an emailed statement.

Leo Burnett Detroit has offices in Troy and has handled GMC and Buick creative work for GM for several years.

Advertising Age published a memo from Leo Burnett management to staff that read: “This is a very difficult day. GM has decided to go through a consolidation. The outcome for us is unfortunate. We're losing Silverado but keeping the rest of our healthy GM portfolio.”

GM in December 2012 said it was giving Silverado creative advertising work to Leo Burnett, which also was handling creative for the GMC Sierra pickup. Both trucks were new for the 2014 model year. At the time, Leo Burnett in a statement said it was “thrilled” to expand its relationship with GM and “build our highly awarded and proven Detroit office.”

The Detroit automaker in spring 2012 selected a newly formed Detroit-based Commonwealth agency to handle global advertising for Chevy, GM’s largest brand.

Commonwealth launched as a joint venture between Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, an Omnicom Group company and McCann Erickson Worldwide, an Interpublic Group company. McCann later assumed Goody’s ownership in the joint venture.

Commonwealth in 2013 employed more than 200 people. Commonwealth did not respond to questions about current employment levels in Detroit, or if it expected to add employees with the Silverado work.

“We are excited to expand our partnership with General Motors and are prepared to immediately begin building upon the creative positioning of the highly-regarded Chevrolet Silverado brand,” Bill Kolb, chairman and CEO of Commonwealth/McCann, said in a statement.

mburden@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2319

Twitter.com/MBurden_DN