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MADISON Media has won the media buying account of US carmaker General Motors, estimated at more than Rs 100 crore, following a closely contested six-agency pitch.

GM, the third biggest ad spender among auto companies in the country after Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai Motor, has given the account to Madison for a period of three years.

"We've retained the business with Madison," said Ankush Arora, GM VP (sales and marketing). "We are in investment mode right now," he added.

The Detroit carmaker has been trying hard to create consumer pull in the fast-growing Indian car market after its filing for bankruptcy protection in the US dented its image, affecting sales and workforce morale.
Besides driving in new vehicles such as Beat compact and Cruz sedan, GM has also been trying out differentiated advertising and media strategies.

The Chevrolet Beat, for example, was launched for TV viewers on television channel Colors' Big Boss show. The Chevrolet Cruz sedan, which comes with a push button, did a tie-up with a business channel to coincide with the opening and closing of the stock market.

GM had called for a pitch for its media account in October last, and six agencies were in the fray including Starcom, OMD, Lodestar and Madison. The pitch lasted six months.

Madison was zeroed upon after a short-list of three agencies — Starcom, OMD and Madison.

The US carmaker, so long known for its gas-guzzlers, is looking to change its image to a maker of environment-friendly cars as it tries to regain its prominence in the global auto business.

In India, it will soon come up with an electric Spark, while for the global market it's working on a number of hybrid and battery-powered vehicles.

The helmet-shaped two-seater, which would communicate with other cars to help avoid accidents and ease traffic, will be showcased at a pavilion it will share with Chinese partner SAIC Motor Corp at the Shanghai World Expo from May through October.

The EN-V would not hit showrooms for another 10 to 20 years and would require regulatory changes for it to be allowed on roads, but it may help GM establish as a significant player in cuttingedge, fuel-efficient vehicles.

GM India works with two creative agencies - Weiden & Kennedy and Leo Burnett.

Madison buys media for Bharti Airtel and Coca-Cola among others.

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