New York shop Berlin Cameron & Partners – newly acquired by WPP Group [12-Dec-01] – has announced its withdrawal from General Motors’ Saturn division review for the $30–100 million launch of its Ion marque next year.

Since the agency is to become the lead shop of WPP’s Red Cell network, the close relationship between GM rival Ford and Berlin’s new WPP siblings Ogilvy & Mather, J Walter Thompson and Young & Rubicam prompted the decision to drop out of the Saturn search. The shop is also expected to lose its existing $15m GM account.

The withdrawal is the first indication that Berlin had anything to do with the review. Press reports last week suggested Saturn had named finalists, thought to include the auto maker’s incumbent Publicis & Hal Riny, D’Arcy in Troy, Michigan, San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, McCann-Erickson Worldwide Advertising in New York and Wieden + Kennedy in Portland, Oregon [WAMN: 04-Dec-01].

News source: New York Times