Chief To Leave L.A.; Piecework May Go To Big D

Chief Auto Parts here will pull its broadcast creative account from DavisElan Advertising of Los Angeles in January, ending a 16-year relationship with the agency.
Sources said Chief Auto Parts may farm out the assignments to Dallas-area shops on a project basis, but client vice president of advertising and public affairs Kenny Cason said no decisions have been made on where or with whom the work will be placed.
Chief will continue to handle most of its print and collateral in-house.
“We’ve had a long and very outstanding relationship with DavisElan [formerly Davis, Ball & Colombatto],” said Cason. But financial considerations for Chief directed the company to take broadcast creative in-house for the time being, he said.
The client’s recent advertising has been tagged, “Thousands of parts for thousands of cars.”
Media buying will be maintained at Western International Media, also based in Los Angeles.
Ironically, DavisElan originally enlisted Western as its media partner to add some cost-effective clout in its defense of the Chief account in a 1993 review. Contenders in that contest included Kansas City’s Bernstein Rein, Dallas-based Berry-Brown, Lee Tilford Agency of Austin, Texas, and Eisaman Johns & Law of Los Angeles.
Western handled insert placement for Chief prior to that, according to Cason.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, Chief spent $2.1 million in major media advertising from January to August of this year, a pace down from $4.2 million in 1996. The chain operates more than 500 stores in Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Nevada and Tennessee.
The Hispanic portion of the Chief account, which was served by DavisElan’s Ad Americas unit, is also moving back to the client, according to Cason. That piece of the business could possibly be subcontracted through general market project assignments, he said.