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McCann wins £400m General Motors Europe media task

LONDON - General Motors Europe has awarded its £400m media planning and buying account to Interpublic Group-owned Universal McCann throughout most of Europe, while sister agency Initiative holds on to the £85m UK brief.

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General Motors initially reported that Universal McCann had won the entire account and had to backtrack before the news went global as it started to appear on US websites.

The four-month pitch for the motor group's media, which includes the Opel, Vauxhall, Saab and Chevrolet brands, saw incumbents Universal McCann and Initiative beat off competition from Aegis Group's Carat.

Initiative lost the Saab business in the Netherlands and Belgium, while Carat lost Germany to Universal McCann.

The news comes after a turbulent few months for the two Interpublic agencies. Universal McCann lost the battle for Nestle's media task to ZenithOptimedia and Initiative lost the £550m Unilever Western Europe media account last month, which went to MindShare.

Chris Shaw, chairman of Universal McCann, confirmed the win: "We are absolutely delighted to continue working with one of the best clients in Europe."

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