The RAC has been talking to a handful of agencies about its pounds 5
million creative account as it prepares for a major overhaul next year.
The RAC’s marketing director, Jan Smith, is thought to have spoken to
three mainstream agencies with a view to replacing the ‘virtual’
creative team she created specially for the task at Butterfield Day
A decision could be made as early as next week according to some
sources, although the BDDH team is contracted until the end of 1996.
The RAC’s latest campaign broke earlier this month, although its last
major TV work, through Cogent, ran last summer. The new campaign was
created by the BDDH creative directors, John Dean and Simon Green.
Dean denied any knowledge of a creative review, but said: ‘Jan is always
looking around for other people. Nothing would surprise me. Our campaign
will take us through to the end of the year, but we haven’t been
commissioned to do any more.’
The creative review places the media account under the spotlight.
Jonathan Durden, a partner at the incumbent media agency, New PHD,
said: ‘We’re just getting on with our job.’
The rethink comes as the RAC prepares to hit back at its arch-rival, the
AA, which has claimed the high ground by positioning itself as the
‘fourth emergency service’. Meanwhile, other competitors, such as Green
Flag, have been steadily eroding the RAC’s market share.
The ad review follows a number of other key marketing developments which
have taken place at the RAC in recent months.
In May, it handed its pounds 4 million direct advertising account,
previously with GGT Direct, to the start-up, Lowe Direct. Last month,
Smith began a major restructure of the RAC’s marketing department with
the appointment of Andrew Mitchell as head of group communications,
responsible for all advertising, direct marketing and internal
Smith joined the RAC in April 1995 and took control of marketing in
January. In February, she set up a so-called ‘virtual agency’ which
allowed her access to selected creatives, planners and media
specialists at BDDH (Campaign, 16 February).