General Motors has made its first decision in its ongoing global media review: It has cut social media agency Big Fuel from its AOR roster.
GM informed Big Fuel of the decision on Nov. 1, although it was not disclosed until the Detroit Free Press wrote about it Tuesday.
A rep for the company confirmed the cut, indicating that creative ad agencies for individual brands will handle social media efforts going forward, which is seen as more efficient than having a separate social media shop handle the duties.
The cut comes about a year after Big Fuel -- headed by Jon Bond, a co-founder of Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners, now an MDC Partners agency -- opened a Detroit office, mainly to service the GM account.
In July, Publicis Groupe -- which is the incumbent on GM’s U.S. media assignment and on some creative assignments as well -- took a majority stake in the social media firm, citing the overlap on GM duties. For now, Big Fuel will reportedly keep a scaled-down office in Detroit.
GM began its media consolidation review in August, shortly after the arrival of its new global CMO, Joel Ewanick. The carmaker spends an estimated $3.5 billion in ads worldwide and just over $2.1 billion in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. It's the first consolidation review the auto giant has conducted since 2005, when Publicis Groupe's GM Planworks, then a dedicated GM media planning unit, beat Interpublic's MediaWorks, the GM buying incumbent at the time.
Sources say a decision on the broader media agency decision is expected soon. The GM rep declined to comment on the timing of the decision, but did say “we’ve made a lot of progress.”
Separately, GM is conducting a creative review of
assignments on its Chevrolet brand.