Faulds faces threat to £5m Kwik-Fit

Kwik-Fit, the speedy automotive repair group, is in talks with creative agencies about its £5 million account, held by Faulds Advertising.

The agencies were initially contacted a month ago with a view to a possible pitch. It is understood talks have now progressed to more advanced stages with a number of unnamed shops.

A spokesperson for Kwik-Fit said: "We have not made a decision to change our advertising agency. However, from time to time we do take the opportunity to speak to other agencies."

Kwik-Fit has about 2,500 service centres and more than 10,000 employees across Europe in operations which include Pit-Stop in Germany and France's Speedy Europe.

The company was acquired by the venture capitalist CVC Capital Partners from Ford for £330 million last July. Ford retains a 19 per cent stake in Kwik-Fit. CVC also owns Halfords, the 400-store auto and bike accessory chain, which it acquired from Boots for £427 million.

Following its move out of Boots, Halfords reviewed its media agency arrangements, moving its £8 million media planning and buying account out of MindShare into OMD UK last August.

OMD held the account from 1994 to 2000 before Boots consolidated its £80 million global business into WPP.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO is the incumbent on the creative account for Halfords.

Analysts have mooted that a possible merger between the two businesses could be on the cards, a move that CVC denies. The two operations are well matched, with Kwik-Fit specialising in tyres and exhausts, while Halfords operates in the lighter end of the market, selling car parts and accessories.