Another GM Story: This Time, Goodby Gets Graded In Public

Sorry to put another GM story on top of the last one, but I think this is a bit bizarre. Ad Age reports on a public grading of Goodby’s Chevy work.

Asked to grade Goodby nearly one year into the “Chevy Runs Deep” campaign, Mr. Ewanick said: “I think they’re a great agency. I’m really happy with them in general.” But, he said, “To get an A, you have to be consistent. That’s more of C and B work when you can’t find the consistency.”

Mr. (GM CEO Joel) Ewanick said he has “told them the same thing” in recent discussions with the agency, which has moved about 125 employees to an office in Detroit to handle the account. He did not single out Goodby work that he thinks reflects inconsistency.

Why on Earth is this sort of thing made public? If you want better work out of your agency, fine. Tell them. But let them know in private. To put something like this in a trade publication is a bit of a public shaming, and uncalled-for. Coming from GM, a company that hasn’t been the picture of consistency for decades, it’s a little hypocritical as well.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. It’s public because there was a reporter in the room asking the right questions. Which I appreciate. But I hear you on Ewanick’s use of the media to convey the message, or to give it amplification, as the case may be.

    By the way, his assessment is spot on. I wondered what a move to Detroit would do to Goodby’s work — if it would make it more average. The proof’s in the reel, although it could easily be the client’s doing. We’d need to see the original story boards to know for sure.

    • Henry Ford says:

      His assessment is spot on, yet the guy also says he’s going to be the next Apple. Perhaps the reporters mis-heard him, and he actually said, “GM will be the next asshole.