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Car Pros on the Road Again

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B.A. Advertising Signs Contracts With 7 Dealerships
DALLAS - B.A. Advertising here has contracted three car dealerships and has assigned four more to its Advertising Information Network to help offset the more than $8 million loss earlier this year of the Chevrolet Dealers Association.
On April 1, General Motors cancelled existing advertising and marketing relationships between local agencies and GM dealer associations, dividing the country into five regions to be serviced by five national agencies and the company's own in-house advertising department. Individual dealerships were free to pursue local advertising initiatives at their own expense.
B.A. was hit by the resulting loss of the Chevrolet Dealers Association, an account which covered North Texas, Georgia, Alabama and the Carolinas. But the agency is evidently back on the fast track, using its automotive expertise to appeal to former clients on an individual basis.
The agency's new full-service clients include Brown Chevrolet and Dodge in Devine, Texas; Don Ringler Chevrolet, Toyota and Saturn in Temple, Texas; and Service Chevrolet in Lafayette, La.
Four other dealerships have subscribed to the shop's monthly marketing program, which allows a client to select an advertising campaign from a guide and implement it with a telephone call to the agency.
Estimated billings were not disclosed.
Said B.A. chief executive officer and president Chris Bryan, "I think we're really trying to focus in three areas: an innovative network program . . . for smaller companies that can't afford a full-service agency, a focus on full-service relationships and then trying to pursue some nonautomotive business, [including] a lot of Web site business."
GM's decision to consolidate advertising provoked widespread dissatisfaction among dealerships, even sparking a dealer-backed lawsuit to prevent the plan's implementation. A few opted out of association advertising (which required contributing a percentage of sales) altogether. ¡