NEW YORK Shell's Jiffy Lube has initiated a review of creative duties on its advertising account, now at independent MMB in Boston. Estimated billings are $25 million.
The Houston-based client has hired New York consultancy Roth Associates to manage the search, said sources. Jiffy Lube, which competes with Valvoline and Pep Boys, hopes to pick an agency by August.
MMB plans to defend, said agency managing director Chad Caufield, who characterized the review as driven by Shell corporate.
The client could not immediately be reached, and Roth did not return calls.
MMB has handled the business since 2001. Its most recent work (a TV, radio, print and online effort that broke last month) features customer testimonials and continues to use the tagline, "Well-oiled machine."
Major media spending on the brand was nearly $20 million last year, on par with 2004 but down considerably from 2003, when the total exceeded $30 million, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.
Other Shell roster shops include WPP Group's JWT in Houston (Shell), Omnicom Group's TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif. (Pennzoil) and independent Doner in Southfield, Mich. (Quaker State).
WPP's MediaCom and Maxus handle Jiffy Lube's media planning and buying and global media duties on all Shell brands, respectively. The two shops teamed to win the estimated $240 million worldwide account last year [Adweek Online, June 2].