SMG Reinvents Business Model for General Motors Account Ken Taylor

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					FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *Photo Attached* Contacts: Cheri Carpenter Starcom MediaVest Group 312.220.6218

Lena Petersen Starcom MediaVest Group 312.220.4169

SMG Reinvents Business Model for General Motors Account Ken Taylor to lead operation
DETROIT, March 11, 2008 – With a goal toward achieving more open source access across its GM account team and its broader agency network, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) announced the evolution of its GM Planworks unit from a stand-alone service operation to a more integrated model. The dedicated service team will retain expertise across all communication contact points, and will be fortified by a closer alignment with contact experts and resources across SMG. “The independent GM Planworks model was the right response to the marketplace realities we faced with GM in 2000,” said Laura Desmond, CEO-The Americas at SMG. “That landscape— both in our industry and the automotive industry—is different today, and it continues to shift. Just as the business of capturing consumer attention continues to evolve, we need to re-imagine and adjust our service models to stay ahead and advance GM’s market-making competitive advantage.” Taylor to Replace Donlin Agency veteran, Ken Taylor, 42, will assume the role of President/General Manager of the new operation. He will replace Dennis Donlin, who announced his departure last week. Taylor reports to Laura Desmond, CEO-The Americas at SMG. Formerly EVP/group client director at Starcom USA, Taylor was lead on the Kellogg’s and LEGO media agency of record businesses. As part of the leadership team that helped launch GM Planworks back in 2000, Taylor spent close to four years in Detroit as SVP/Managing Director before relocating to Starcom’s Chicago headquarters. His tenure at SMG spans 20 years and includes some of the country’s largest marketers, including P&G, McDonald’s, Philip Morris and United Airlines. Along with his North American duties, Taylor helped McDonald’s expand into the Greater China market in 1998 and founded Starcom’s Los Angeles office in 1999. Integrated Model The integrated nature of the new model will be reflected in its structure. By evolving from a standalone unit and categorizing the team as “GM inside SMG,” the model will mirror other successful, client-dedicated approaches orchestrated by SMG, each of which pivots on open collaboration, integrated solutions and shared best practices. According to Desmond, the new model for the GM business has been in development for several months in close collaboration with the GM client. “The new approach is multifaceted, highly digital and strategically aligned with our corporate objectives,” said Desmond. “It delivers the best of the stand alone unit while remaining connected to the core of SMG.”

Expanding upon existing success The SMG connected model for the GM business has already been in operation across a number of functions including digital, OOH, Search and research. The advantages of this model will now be expanded to other aspects of the business, including print, branded entertainment and multicultural. Current GM experts in these and other functional areas will now have direct access to experts within the SMG network to supplement and evolve their GM-focused efforts. Digital is one area that has already migrated to a more integrated approach, with Curt Hecht serving a dual role as digital lead for SMG on the GM business and Chief Digital Officer for SMG. Hecht will continue to lead the GM digital team and will continue to focus on an already close collaboration with Publicis Groupe’s Digitas unit, which shares the GM business. GM’s dedicated print team will now collaborate more closely with counterparts at Starcom on key issues facing the industry, such as accountability and research initiatives. Likewise, GM teams will be able to leverage expert multicultural resources via SMG Multicultural. The GM-focused branded entertainment team will have greater access to MediaVest’s successful New York-based entertainment marketing group as well. “The goal of the new entity is to connect systems to deliver greater control and visibility, challenge conventional wisdom with breakthrough research and gradually establish clear territories and differentiated positions where each division could thrive,” said Taylor. “I’m thrilled to be returning to the GM client with a host of new resources, renewed innovation and the some of the best talent in the business.”

About Starcom MediaVest Group
Ranked one of the largest brand communications groups in the world, Starcom MediaVest Group ( encompasses an integrated network of highly specialized consumer contact companies. SMG's global organization includes strategic marketing communication architects who are highly specialized in media management, response media, internet and digital communications, as well as multicultural, entertainment, sports sponsorship and event marketing and media. With nearly 5,800 employees in 89 markets worldwide, SMG delivers brand-building results for many of the world's leading companies. ###

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