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
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
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
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.