DavisElen Client Bows Out

Chief Auto Parts Chain Moves Creative In-House

DALLAS–Chief Auto Parts Stores here is moving the broadcast creative portion of its account in-house effective in January, ending a 16-year relationship with DavisElen Advertising in Los Angeles. Western International Media, also in Los Angeles, will continue to handle media buying and outdoor ads for the client.
Chief will likely farm out creative assignments to shops in the Dallas area on a project basis, sources said. Chief vice president of advertising and public affairs Kenny Cason said no decisions have been made on how the company will handle its creative needs. Chief’s in-house marketing department will continue to handle most print and collateral work.
“We’ve had a long and outstanding relationship with DavisElen [formerly Davis, Ball & Colombatto],” Cason said. Financial considerations led to the decision, he said.
DavisElen’s recent ads for the client have used the theme, “Thousands of parts for thousands of cars.”
The Hispanic portion of the account, which was serviced by DavisElen’s Ad Americas unit, is also moving in-house, according to Cason. That account could possibly be subcontracted through several smaller shops.
Chief spent $4 million on ads in 1996 and $2 million through August of this year, according to Competitive Media Reporting. The company operates more than 500 stores in California, Texas, Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada and Tennessee.
DavisElen brought in Western as its media partner in 1993 to strengthen its position in defending the business. Western handled some media duties for Chief prior to that review, according to Cason.