The AA has picked M&C Saatchi to handle its £10 million
account in a move that will end its promotion as "the fourth emergency
The line will disappear in favour of much more broadly based
advertising, reflecting a range of AA offerings from insurance to
checking the roadworthiness of used cars for prospective buyers.
Clare Salmon, the AA's director for customer and brand management, said:
"We've been 'the fourth emergency service' for a long time but that's no
longer enough to do justice to the full range of our products. It's time
for us to communicate a more coherent image to our customers."
Details of the new advertising, due to appear later this year, remain
under wraps, although M&C Saatchi is said to have come up with a
creative idea capable of running through the line and into the direct
marketing work by ehsrealtime and Rapier.
"We were pleasantly surprised to come out of the pitch with a 'live'
creative idea," Salmon added.
The AA's decision to split with HHCL & Partners after nine years follows
a major internal restructuring and less emphasis on breakdown services,
which have suffered from rising competition and falling profits.
M&C Saatchi takes on the account two years after parting company with
the RAC, although Salmon said the appointment was unconnected with the
agency's previous experience in the area.
The AA's Centrica parent is said to be eager to exploit the AA brand in
order to take advantage of the cross-selling opportunities with its
other subsidiaries - British Gas and the Goldfish bank.
The RAC, which has six million members compared with the AA's 11
million, has also been working on an expanded product offering with ads
by WCRS which carries the line: "A to B, we RAC to it." Two years ago it
underwent a controversial makeover as a "transport" company.
- Live Issue, p17.