RAC kicks off search for DM agency for £10m task

LONDON - The RAC is looking for a direct marketing agency to handle its £10m below-the-line account.

The RAC, which is thought to be in the process of drawing up a shortlist, has been without a direct agency since it last worked with WWAV Rapp Collins more than a year ago.

WWAV initially won the business in 2000 after a long pitch against the incumbent, Lowe Direct, Arc (then called IMP) and Carlson.

However, the last work it created for the brand was a DRTV campaign in January last year highlighting its personal injury claims service. The RAC then reduced its below-the-line spend and took it in-house.

The organisation is also reviewing the direct response part of its £6m media planning and buying account, held by Vizeum. The agency, formerly BBJ Media, is being reviewed because its three-year contract is coming to an end. It also handles planning and buying for the RAC's brand advertising, but this is not affected by the review.

The review comes as the motoring organisation embarks on a renewed effort to close the gap on the market leader, the AA.

Last month, the RAC launched a £10m integrated campaign by the Windmill Partnership involving a series of TV ads, promoting the company as more than just a breakdown service.

The campaign marks the company's first product-led work since its relaunch last year and uses the orange helping hand to promote its Auto Windscreens, legal service and its BSM-branded driving school brands.

The ad opens with the line "Every 10 seconds the RAC is there to give a motorist a helping hand" and end with the line: "RAC. Always there. For you and Britain's 32m motorists."

No one at the RAC was available for comment.

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