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Jiffy Lube Awards Advertising to Boston Newcomer

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"Who the hell are these guys?"

McCarthy Mambro Bertino president Joe McCarthy said that is the question his fledgling agency had to overcome last week to win the$18 million advertising account of Jiffy Lube.

The Boston agency, participating in its first competitive pitch, upended FCB of New York in the final round. It also outlasted Publicis & Hal Riney of San Francisco and Tracy-Locke Partnership in Dallas, which fell in the semifinals. The incumbent agency, The Richard Group in Dallas, did not participate.

"This is a big win. We were pretty excited to compete against some of the older, more established agencies," McCarthy said.

"We were highly impressed with the commitment and passion they exhibited for the business and felt it matched our commitment for our customers," said Anne Tawney, senior vice president of marketing at Jiffy Lube, a Penzoil-Quaker State subsidiary based in Houston.

MMB presented "everything from TV concepts to point-of-purchase to uniforms for the [Jiffy Lube] technicians" in an all-out effort to win the account, McCarthy said. "The theme was 'care.' People at Jiffy Lube care for your car and by extension, care for their customers. It's more than just a place for a change of oil."

Creative details—such as the tagline and the overall tone of the campaign—will be worked out in the next few weeks. Radio spots are slated to break during the summer, with television, print and outdoor to follow, McCarthy said.

MMB, which has expanded to 25 staffers after launching in April with about 10, is in talks with "three or four" media buying shops and looks to subcontract that portion of the business, McCarthy said.

Creative directors Fred Bertino and Jamie Mambro, who will oversee the campaign, are the other partners of MMB.

Prior to starting the new shop, Bertino and Mambro led the Boston outpost of Dallas-based Square One. McCarthy had been a brand consultant who oversaw Boston Beer Co.'s flagship Samuel Adams account. The three joined forces with the $15-20 million Samuel Adams as their showcase account as well as the $5-8 million business of tech company Tellium.