Agency Partners' Experience With Manufacturers, Dealers a Key
LOS ANGELES--Continuing its fast-track growth, Siltanen/Keehn has come in first in the race for the estimated $20 million-plus CarsDirect.com account. The agency, only seven months old, now commands almost $100 million in claimed billings.
The shop prevailed after a review that included several undisclosed West Coast agencies. Media buying remains at KSL Media, Los Angeles.
S/K brings extensive category experience to the job. Agency partners Rob Siltanen and Pam Keehn and group creative director Joe Hemp were all heavily involved on the Nissan account at their former agency, TBWA\Chiat\Day, Playa del Rey, Calif.
"We were looking for an agency that understood the intricacies of the automotive business," said Chuck Hoover, CarsDirect.com vp of marketing. "The people at Siltanen/Keehn have worked with manufacturers, dealers and dealer groups, and can develop great campaigns."
Hoover said the agency will help develop a brand identity highlighting what Hoover called the "key distinction" between the company and its competitors--that online shoppers buy cars directly from CarsDirect.com but are referred to dealers by other sites.
The decision capped a busy week for the dot-com, having already announced plans to file for an IPO in hopes of raising more than $172 million. Also last week, the company unveiled a strategic alliance with two of the largest and most powerful dealer groups: United Auto Group and Penske Automotive Group.
S/K, meanwhile, continues to add staff "who over the years we've seen make the difference in clients' businesses," Keehn said. Among the additions is Troy Grande of Dunk.net as chief financial officer.
S/K also handles Tellme Networks and Freeinternet.com. K