AAA Southern New England has selected Sheppard Leger Nowak to handle its account.
Annual spending is believed to be in the $1.5 million range.
The move reunites AAA marketing vice president Mary Wyatt with agency president Ed Nowak and his partners Dan Sheppard and Jaimie Leger. All four had been employed at Chaffee & Partners, Providence, R.I., prior to Sheppard Leger's formation in 1997. In fact, Wyatt replaced Nowak as president of Chaffee & Partners before joining AAA.
The account had previously been handled by Stal-McLane, Manchester, N.H., for 19 years and was the eight-person shop's largest piece of business. No layoffs are planned as a result of the split, said Stal-McLane CEO Frisky Stal.
Sheppard Leger, a low-profile Providence agency, is charged with promoting the auto club's various services, such as roadside assistance, insurance and travel planning. Work will include radio, and possibly television and newspaper. Ads are expected to break by the beginning of January.
"AAA is a great brand, and they're going beyond the traditional way of doing things," said Nowak, adding that the nonprofit organization is eager to "grow their business in all product areas."
Past efforts by Stal-McLane included print support for AAA emergency roadside assistance, a direct mail piece for the AAA Travel Center, and a billboard for AAA Insurance Agency with the question, "You paid WHAT for insurance?"
Founded in 1902 as the American Automobile Association, AAA, Heathrow, Fla., has about 100 auto clubs, 1,000 offices in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 42 million members. The Southern New England club, based in Providence, serves roughly 1.8 million members in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.