Monday, August 20, 2012

10431: Delayed WTF 19—Is Ewanick A Dick…?

MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.

There has been a fair amount of coverage for the dismissal of former General Motors Chief Marketing Officer Joel Ewanick. A deeper and more thorough official investigation may be warranted, especially given the allegations of improper expenditures by a corporation that benefited from a federal bailout in recent years. But that’s a topic for another post.

The majority of sources have already touched on the obvious obscenities in the scenario. For example, it’s a tad hypocritical for a U.S. automaker to invest so heavily in a promotional tactic abroad. Yet many journalistic entities seem oblivious to the extra disturbing elements.

Ewanick has been heralded as a breakthrough executive who operates far beyond the status quo. His actions at General Motors, however, paint a different picture that can be summed up in three areas:

1. Ego. Ewanick displays serious delusions of Grand Prix. Has any other CMO spent as much time providing quotes and interviews to the advertising trade press? Why, Ewanick has even denied his own statements to reporters. The man appears to think he’s a rock star. Um, Jay-Z is a rock star. J-E is a narcissistic, glorified car salesman.

2. Cronyism. Ewanick has shifted entire accounts without formal reviews, essentially handing work to old pals. Under his watch, an assignment went to Mother New York, an agency employing the wife of GM CFO Dan Ammann. This was a clear violation of SEC rules, and GM had to answer to the federal agency on the matter, admitting proper procedures were not followed.

3. Old School. Don’t believe the hype about Ewanick being a groundbreaking revolutionary. Sure, he shook things up by dumping Facebook and punting the Super Bowl. But it’s likely the man simply doesn’t know what to do with social media, as traditional advertising people tend to be digitally clueless. And on the sports front, all he really did was replace football with fútbol. In the end, the Manchester United maneuver is an old-fashioned celebrity endorsement deal. Nothing new here.

Sorry, the man is a typical corporate car guy who perpetuated the bullshit at General Motors. Ewanick is no maverick. He’s a dick.

No comments: