Budget Seeks Chicago Shop

CHICAGO – Budget Rent a Car expects to cull about five finalists from the dozen or so shops it contacted last week for its advertising account, which the client valued at $35 million.
The Lisle, Ill.-based car rental operation is looking only at Chicago area shops, and a company representative offered geography as one reason for its decision to drop Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston.
Budget also wants its new agency of record to be able to handle work for other units of its parent, The Budget Group of Daytona Beach, Fla. The Budget Group also owns Budget Car Sales, Premiere Car Rental and Cruise America, which rents recreational vehicles, and is about to acquire truck-rental company Ryder TRS.
According to Competitive Media Reporting, the Budget Group spent $25 million on advertising for its car and truck rental businesses in 1997, and nearly $15 million on car and truck sales. Ryder TRS’ total ad spending was listed by CMR at $11.5 million.
Agencies contacted last week were asked to submit reels and background information. Finalists will make presentations in June, with a selection expected by July.
The Budget Group was known as Team Rental, Budget’s largest franchisee organization, when it acquired Budget Rent A Car from Ford Motor Co. in a January 1997 deal. Hill, Holliday was named agency of record the same day. The acquisition was completed in April.
Hill, Holliday’s tagline for Budget was “Get out of the ordinary,” launched in August 1997.
The Budget Group operates more than 3,200 outlets offering car, truck and van rentals. About 40 percent of the company’s revenues come from used vehicle sales. The company posted 1997 sales of $1.3 billion and net income of about $37 million.