Advance Auto Seeks New Shop

Advance Auto Parts is in the early stages of reviewing its account, according to sources.

The retailer has issued RFPs to a number of agencies. Among the shops receiving questionnaires are Barkley, Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo., Martin/Williams in Minneapolis, Fogarty Klein Monroe in Houston and Cramer-Krasselt in Or lando, Fla., which handles Discount Auto Parts, a subsidiary of Advance Auto Parts, sources said.

Incumbent The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., also received an RFP but is not expected to participate. Martin executives referred questions to client officials, who did not return calls by press time on Friday. Advance is believed to be handling the review in-house without assistance from consultants.

Martin had retained the estimated $10 million account in 1998 following the sale of Western Auto, a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck, to the Roanoke, Va., company.

At that time, Advance held a review that pitted five-year incumbent Martin against Barkley, Evergreen & Partners, which held Western Auto’s business.

Martin’s most recent campaign broke in De cember under the tag line, “The best part is our people.” The spots, created by copywriters John Mahoney and Steve Bassett and art director Michael Wright, mimicked home videos.

Advance ranks as the nation’s No. 2 auto-parts chain, with 2,400 locations in 38 states.

The company’s overall sales increased 10 percent in 2001 to $2.5 billion; category leader AutoZone of Memphis, Tenn., tallied 2001 sales of $4.8 billion.