Lengthy Creative Review Finally Sees Decision; Media on Hold
DALLAS–The Richards Group is the winner of the $8-10 million national account of Jiffy Lube, the leading chain of automotive oil change centers in the country.
Dallas-based Richards was tapped by the Houston client after the review, initiated last December, came to a close last week. Other finalists were Bernstein-Rein Advertising and Barkley Evergreen & Partners, both in Kansas City.
Cindy Landers, Jiffy Lube’s director of public relations, declined to comment on the selection, saying that negotiations are ongoing. She did indicate, however, that Richards’ creative reputation enabled the agency to enter the review at a relatively late stage.
Agency founder Stan Richards joked that the selection was due “probably [to] our overall brilliance.”
More seriously, Richards said, “We presented a capabilities presentation [last] Monday with only an opportunity to present some early thinking and demonstrate some understanding of the brand, but not including creative.
“We were a latecomer in the process,” he added, “and my guess is that other agencies had several weeks, while we had to do some scrambling.”
Senior account manager Brad Todd led the Richards pitch.
Smith Advertising in Westwood, Kan., resigned the account last December to follow Jiffy Lube’s president and senior vice president of marketing to Pensky, an industry competitor.
At press time it was undecided if media buying duties would be retained by GSD&M in Austin, Texas. GSD&M is the agency of record for Jiffy Lube’s parent company, Pennzoil-Quaker State Co. The shop did not participate in the Jiffy Lube review.
Richards will be charged with creative responsibilities for a chain of more than 2,000 oil change centers formed by the merger of Pennzoil and Quaker State. Quaker’s Q-Lube shops are being rebranded as Jiffy Lube, a process that is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
The account win is a pleasant one for Richards, closely following its unsuccessful bid for the American Legacy Foundation’s $250 million anti-tobacco business.
“We had about a half day of mourning when we didn’t win tobacco,” said Richards. “But we’ve had several wins since then, some dot.coms and others . . . We’ve just continued to grow right along.”
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