Commonwealth Angles to Retrieve Silverado Business

Assignment had shifted to Leo Burnett in December

Commonwealth is quietly working to regain creative lead on Silverado trucks, a General Motors brand that had shifted from the Chevrolet-dedicated agency to rival Leo Burnett late last year, sources said.

Commonwealth, which is now run by McCann Worldgroup after Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ exit in March, is back to producing some work for the brand, sources said, although it could not be determined the scope of the assignment. Media spending on Silverado totaled nearly $350 million last year, according to Nielsen.

In December, GM confirmed that it had shifted lead creative responsibilities for Silverado to Burnett, ahead of this year’s launch of the brand's 2014 next-generation pickup truck. The Publicis Groupe agency already handles Buick as well as GMC, including the Sierra truck.

Several sources said that Linus Karlsson, McCann Erickson global creative chief and Commonwealth board member, is intent on getting creative control of Silverado again. He did not return calls and a McCann representative declined to comment, referring inquiries to GM.

Despite GM's statements in December, a representative today insisted that the company never stated it was moving all of the Silverado business out of Commonwealth. “It was more of a workload balance issue, since Chevrolet has 13 launches this year. Commonwealth is Chevrolet’s global agency of record and coordinates all of its campaigns, including Silverado,” the rep said.

The Silverado back and forth comes as Commonwealth parent Interpublic Group continues to expand its relationship with GM. Earlier this week a trio of the holding company's shops—Hill Holliday, Campbell Ewald and Lowe—won the carmaker's Cadillac business, with annual U.S. media spending of about $250 million.