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OLDS REVIEW COMMITTEE UNANIMOUSLY PICKS LEO BURNETT

 LANSING, Mich., Feb. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Oldsmobile Division of General Motors (NYSE: GM) in a joint decision with its dealers, has unanimously voted to retain Leo Burnett U.S.A. as its advertising agency. This follows a five-month review process during which Olds met with 15 agencies nationwide.
 "The committee agreed that a newly defined Burnett is without a doubt the best agency to partner with the new Oldsmobile as we reshape the division," said Oldsmobile general manager, John Rock. "During the review, we also took a hard look at our people, processes and the extent of involvement of the agency in our strategic business decisions, so we could determine how we needed to change to be a better client."
 "There were two clear-cut objectives to our review," said Knox Ramsey, general marketing manager. "First, we were determined above all else to bring a new agency to Oldsmobile. Second, there had to be a level playing field, fair to all competitors with no favorites. The review team is confident we accomplished these goals.
 "With the substantial changes being initiated at Burnett we are confident that Oldsmobile and Oldsmobile dealers will benefit by doing business with one of the strongest agencies in the business."
 The review committee included four dealers: Kent Browning of Cerritos, Calif.; Dave Fischer of Troy, Mich.; Jack Pohanka of Marlow Heights, Md.; and Dick Smith of Charleston, W.Va.; and four members of Oldsmobile's management team: John Rock, general sales and service manager, Dave Lahti; Knox Ramsey; and director of consumer marketing, Karen Ebben.
 "The review process gave Oldsmobile the chance to examine a wide variety of agencies," said Ramsey. "While we were looking at other agencies we also did a 'deep dive' with Burnett to thoroughly understand what was not working in the Oldsmobile-Burnett relationship, and that proved to be a very long but worthwhile effort."
 With a team headed by Richard B. Fizdale, chairman and chief executive officer, and William T. Lynch, president, Burnett will now service the account out of its 2,277-person Chicago office. Burnett had previously run the account from an office in Southfield, Mich. A new strategic support team will now be located in Lansing, where Oldsmobile is based.
 "By locating key people in Lansing, we will have a true strategic partnership in which we will be fully integrated with all facets of Oldsmobile's business," added Fizdale. "Moreover, basing the business in Chicago will give Olds total access to the deep resources of the largest agency under one roof in the U.S."
 The new structure will necessitate the closing of Burnett's 105- person office in Southfield. A majority of the employees will be offered positions elsewhere with Leo Burnett.
 "Essentially, Oldsmobile was able to change agencies by staying with Burnett," said Lynch. "There will be substantial changes in key personnel, reporting structures and implementing new processes. Oldsmobile is also initiating new procedures so the Burnett team can better integrate and understand the short-term and long-term flow of the business. This will enable us to be more effective business partners."
 "One of our major challenges was proving we are capable of seeing the marketplace through the eyes of our retail partners. The revised organizational structure and procedures will bring a new customer sensitivity that will be reflected in all national advertising," said Fizdale.
 The Oldsmobile account was put into review on Sept. 15, 1992, as part of the overall assessment of every aspect of Olds' business from the lineup of its vehicles to its basic structure.
 Another result of that assessment, according to Rock, is the soon- to-be-named Dealer Board of Governance consisting of eight dealers and eight Olds managers, "which will change the way the company will be managed. The agency will interact with the board."
 "The review team is in complete agreement that we now have a new agency with Leo Burnett," added Rock. "One strong factor in their favor was the way they worked during the review. Under trying circumstances, the agency never took its eye off the ball, redoubled its efforts, and produced an amazing amount of quality work."
 Burnett first began working with Oldsmobile in 1967 following its acquisition of the D.P. Brother Company in Detroit. Brother had been Olds' agency since 1934.
 -0- 2/1/93
 /CONTACT: Gus Buenz of Oldsmobile Division, 517-377-4430/
 (GM)


CO: Oldsmobile Division; Leo Burnett U.S.A. ST: Michigan IN: AUT ADV SU:

JG -- DE025 -- 1484 02/01/93 15:13 EST
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Date:Feb 1, 1993
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