Vauxhall shifts to media-neutral stance

LONDON - Vauxhall is taking a bow to media neutrality with the restructuring of its marketing department, which will see customer relationship management merged with the car-maker's above-the-line function for the first time.

The automotive firm, part of the General Motors empire, is creating a single integrated marketing division, from which all marketing communications will be planned and developed. CRM and advertising previously operated as separate groups.

The new division will be headed by Jos Sharp, who has been promoted from her previous role overseeing Vauxhall's below-the-line spend. Vauxhall has a marketing budget of around £60m.

Sharp will be responsible for Vauxhall's advertising, direct mail, online communications, literature and point-of-sale material, as well as all GM Card, dealer, fleet and after-sales communications. She will report in her new role to Vauxhall's UK marketing director Dean Barrett.

"The new structure will ensure effective use of all marketing budgets, regardless of media selection," said Barrett. "Communication plans will be developed by understanding the benefits, costs and synergies of all media opportunities and marketing disciplines, in order to maximise return and investment."

The restructure should lead to greater co-operation between its roster of agencies as it looks for media-neutral communications solutions.

The lion's share of its adspend is handled by Delaney Lund Knox Warren following several pitch successes against incumbent Lowe.

Marketing's Below-the-Line Agency of the Year for 2002, TBWA\GGT Direct, handles Vauxhall's direct marketing spend.

Vauxhall's models include the Meriva, which will be backed by a significant marketing spend next year, the Vectra and the Corsa.

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