Advance Auto Parts Selects Richards

BOSTON Advance Auto Parts has selected independent The Richards Group for creative and media chores following a review, the shop said.

The client spent nearly $35 million in measured media in 2006, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. The company has recently used the positioning line “We’re ready in advance.”

The client in Roanoke, Va., was impressed by the Dallas agency’s “rich history in retail branding and advertising,” said Bob Fant, director of advertising for Advance Auto Parts, in a statement.

Agency principal Pete Lempert said, “We felt an immediate connection between our cultures. It was a good match.”

Other review contenders were not disclosed. FKM in Houston had handled the business for the past five years.

Richards is facing a major automotive category loss following its January split with Hyundai Motor America, which has placed its $600 million account in review.

Advance Auto Parts employs more than 40,000 people in 3,000 shops nationwide. The company has been in business for 75 years, serving both the do-it-yourself and professional installer markets.

Richards also works for Motel 6, Chick-fil-A, Zales Jewelers, Red Lobster, Fruit of the Loom and Bridgestone Firestone.