BRSG Loses Hi/Lo In Buyout

A change in ownership at client Hi/Lo Automotive has cost Black Rogers Sullivan Goodnight in Houston its agency of record status on the estimated $5 million account.
The Houston-based Hi/Lo car parts retailer was acquired in late January by O’Reilly Automotive of Springfield, Mo., which has consolidated advertising for both operations in-house. Advertising for O’Reilly’s retail stores was already handled internally.
Ron Byerly, vice president of marketing, advertising and training for O’Reilly, said he is in discussions with BRSG about handling some creative work on a project basis, but added: “We do not retain agencies of record. All of our work is handled in-house.”
Byerly said BRSG’s future relationship with the company would be solidified by June.
Advertising for O’Reilly’s has been largely focused on radio and print executions and targets both do-it-yourself customers and professional mechanics and service technicians.
BRSG’s first campaign for Hi/Lo, launched a year ago, included television and radio ads featuring celebrities like former Houston Astros star Jose Cruz and Red Adair, the legendary oil well firefighter.
BRSG was awarded the Hi/Lo account in late 1996. The business was previously handled by Fogarty Klein & Partners in Houston.
Byerly said a process is under way to convert Hi/Lo’s 189 stores in Texas, Louisiana, and California to the O’Reilly banner. Prior to the acquisition, O’Reilly operated 259 retail locations in Missouri, Kansas, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska and Illinois.
O’Reilly announced its plans to acquire Hi/Lo after that company terminated a previously announced merger with the Discount Auto Parts chain. O’Reilly said its acquisition of Hi/Lo makes it one of the leading automotive parts retailers in the country.