RAC’s new marketer set to hold creative and media pitches

By KAREN YATES, campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 19 December 1997 12:00AM

The RAC is expected to hold pitches for its creative and media work after its new marketing chief, Findlay Caldwell, joins in February.

The RAC is expected to hold pitches for its creative and media work

after its new marketing chief, Findlay Caldwell, joins in February.



Caldwell, who is currently the merchandise and marketing director of

Dillons Bookstores, will be directly responsible for membership levels

in his role as managing director for membership.



The retail veteran is likely to retain the RAC’s controversial

positioning as a ’journeys company’, but will take a more

results-oriented approach to advertising. He pledged this week to hold

an internal review upon his arrival, but would not confirm whether he

would hold a formal agency pitch.



However, RAC sources expect Caldwell’s arrival to herald the end of the

loose arrangements set up by the RAC’s former marketing director, Jan

Smith, who set up a ’virtual agency’ comprised of hand-picked creatives

and planners from a variety of sources. This included media buying from

the Media Business Group - which has already resigned the account -

freelance planners and the creative duo, John Dean and Simon Green, from

Partners BDDH.



Arrangements with these individuals run out at the end of the year, and

sources close to the RAC confirmed that the initial stages of a review

involving advertising agencies as an alternative had already begun.



One source close to the process said: ’The virtual way of working was

very much Jan’s style. It’s inevitable that any newcomer would want to

review that.’



The RAC lags behind the AA as the UK’s second-largest roadside rescue

service, with around six million members as opposed to the AA’s nine

million.



In an effort to counter this, the RAC relaunched earlier this year as a

transport management service with a new corporate identity, revamped

livery and logo.



The company also launched a pounds 4 million branding campaign including

a two-and-a-half minute unscripted ’documercial’, in which technological

gurus talked about the future.



This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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