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AAA Hits the Road for Agencies

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AAA Southern New England is in the midst of an agency search for its account, which sources have pegged at $1.5 million annually. The nonprofit organization had previously worked with Stal-McLane, Manchester, N.H.

"There has not been a review in years, and the feeling was that there should be one," said AAA senior vice president of corporate affairs Robert Murray, adding that he was unsure of the budget.

The AAA brand has not been as strong in recent years as it could be, sources have said.

The account will include "a little bit of everything," including advertising, public relations and consulting work, Murray said.

While one source said that a decision could come as early as the end of this week, Murray said that he expects the decision-making process to be "cumbersome and slow." The organization is holding the review without the help of an outside consultant.

Past efforts by Stal-McLane have included print work 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?" Stal-McLane has a relationship with AAA dating back to at least 1994.

Representatives from Stal-McLane did not return calls by press time, and it was unclear whether the agency would defend the account.

Founded in 1902, AAA has about 100 auto clubs, 1,000 offices in the U.S. and Canada, and more than 42 million members. Its services include emergency roadside assistance, insurance, credit cards and travel planning. The Southern New England club, Providence, R.I., serves roughly 1.8 million members in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.