Free Rides Are For Scholars, Not Failed Auto Brands

Not getting paid for work rendered is a real bitch. And according to The Wall Street Journal, there’s some serious bitching going on right now.

Monday’s bankruptcy filing by General Motors sent chills down Madison Avenue as the car maker disclosed what it owed advertising and media agencies.
The car maker disclosed that it owed ad and marketing firms at least $167 million as of May 31, according to court documents. One of GM’s biggest creditors, Starcom MediaVest, the media-buying unit of Publicis Groupe of France, is owed $121.5 million, most of it from media purchases made on GM’s behalf.

Media Daily News, reports that Interpublic Group is also owed more than $150 million by the automaker.
That’s a $300 million bag that businesses already short on cash are left holding, or not holding as the case may be.
As dismal as this situation is, I have a suggestion. Free cars for all IPG and Starcom staffers on the GM business.
Seriously, the damn things are gathering dust on a lot somewhere. Pay the agencies in Saabs. Hell, pay them in Pontiacs.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Free cars for employees? What a practical, doable, morale-building idea. Maybe if silly things like happiness and productivity and leadership that gives a damn about things other than Numero Uno come back into vogue in holding company land, then yeah, better than nothing right?

  2. Lauri Shafer says:

    Excellent idea David! Pay all the creditors with cars. Bond holders should get one too. Maybe one each for the bankruptcy lawyers also, instead of their huge fees which will otherwise have to be paid with tax payer dollars.

  3. If agencies were paid in the goods and services that they promoted, then there would be no advertising because even BDA’s are not that dumb.

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