Cadillac Cans Ad Agency Modernista: Legends of the Fall or Push It Good?

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

Yesterday, we learned that GM CEO Fritz Henderson was surprised by Marketing Maven Mark LaNeve’s departure. If true, it’s a revelation that puts paid to the theory that GM has finally learned how to fire someone for something. Make that anything. Today, we learn that Monster Mark LaNeve’s favorite ad agency, Modernista, “has elected not to participate [in Cadillac’s ongoing renaissance].” This from Automotive News [sub], quoting recently elevated Cadillac GM Bryan Nesbitt. Huh. So Modernista dumped Cadillac? AN’s spies say the ad agency didn’t fall on its sword; it was pushed.

“The move is financially related — GM wants to cut fees, said a former GM exec, as Modernista had higher fees than other, longer-term agencies to the marketer. Other pundits said GM needed to move at least one of its remaining four core vehicle-brand accounts to show that it was indeed a ‘new’ GM.” By favoring the old ad agencies Publicis Groupe and/or Interpublic Group of Cos. Gotcha.

In that case, former Car Czar and current Ad Guru Bob Lutz has putsch your money where the nationalized automaker’s mouth is. (Another part of human anatomy suggests itself, but I couldn’t possibly comment.) For its part, Modernista was characteristically humble about dropping/losing the account. “We are extremely proud of the work we created for both Hummer and Cadillac,” Modernista said in a statement. “We feel it ranks among the best, if not the best work in the automotive category.”

I reckon Modenista deserves a bouquet of lilies and a Pulitzer Prize for their work, if you know what I mean.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Jacksonbart Jacksonbart on Oct 09, 2009

    Why not advertise qualities about how your product is class leading based on features and quality based on results. Or you could show some actors dress up as firefighters standing around a Chevy truck with a flag waiving in the background.

  • Detroit-X Detroit-X on Oct 09, 2009

    Despite the black-attired, non-smiling, glove-wearing Dylan personna, he still uses turn signals!! Woooo, what a rebel! And In general, I just don't get the glove-thing. Leather gloves for handling a nice, leather and wood steering wheel? Are the gloves made of human skin??

  • Jacksonbart Jacksonbart on Oct 10, 2009

    The glove were a tribute to MJ.

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 10, 2009

    It's a good idea to keep in front of the fuel tanker, as poor Bob running out of "juice" in that post apocalyptic nightmare landscape would make him late for his radio show.