AutoNation USA Moves Media

AutoNation USA last week divided its broadcast media buying assignment between two New York-based shops, leaving Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos about $30 million lighter in billings.
The chain of used car superstores owned by Republic Industries in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., continues to use the Boston agency for creative chores. That assignment is not likely to change, according to Fred Zuckerman, vice president and director of media services at AutoNation USA.
Hill, Holliday was invited to participate in a review to retain media duties but chose not to, Zuckerman said.
According to Hill, Holliday executive vice president Mark Richardson, who oversees the AutoNation account, “The bid process was just not attractive to the way we work.”
The agency has an eight-person office in Fort Lauderdale that services AutoNation and other clients. No staff cutbacks are anticipated as a result of the loss, Richardson said. Hill, Holliday has worked for the client since it opened its first auto retail store in southern Florida more than four years ago.
KSL Media was contracted by AutoNation to buy media in 10 markets, while Horizon Media will be responsible for the remaining five. KSL employs a staff of 150 and has offices in five cities, including Fort Lauderdale and Boston. Its other clients include Revlon, The Limited, Victoria’s Secret, Outback Steakhouse and Countrywide Home Loans.
AutoNation retains Long Haymes Carr in Winston-Salem, N.C., for outdoor ad placement and Newspaper Service of America for the buying and planning of newspaper ads.
The media review was conducted by Zuckerman, who formerly held the top media planning job at Harris, Drury & Cohen in Fort Lauderdale. Zuckerman was recruited to AutoNation by senior vice president of marketing John Drury, a former principal in the Florida shop.