In September Cadillac–once the most enviable of all American luxury brands–announced it would move its headquarters from beleaguered Detroit to New York City. Now in a further attempt to start anew, Cadillac has dumped its longtime advertising agency, Detroit-based Lowe Campbell Ewald (owned by Interpublic Group) to move to the Publicis Groupe SA, a giant advertising conglomerate based in Paris.
Lowe Campbell Ewald had worked with General Motors since circa 1920. GM moved its Chevrolet account away from LCE in 2010. The Cadillac loss is expected to decimate LCE, which cut its staff by more than half after the Chevrolet change. LCE didn’t handle Cadillac’s creative output, but only the account management. London-based Lowe and Partners produced the creative, so the Cadillac brand image was already being imported back to the states from overseas. Detroit adman Tim Smith told Crain’s that LCE is “better off, in my opinion, without the schizophrenic behavior of a bad client.” But that schizophrenic brand spent $280 million on media in 2013, according to the same Crain’s article. Better off seems a stretch.