Midas to Contact ‘Not More Than 4’ for Account

Agencies looking to get into the pitch for Midas’ $50 million advertising account will have to contend with a notoriously fickle client, sources said.

“They wanted to broaden their perceptions to consumers, but it was very hard working with the franchisees,” said one source familiar with the account. “There was no clear agreement on a lot of things,” unlike other franchise-driven accounts like McDonald’s which at least have some consistency, the source said.

The Chicago-based car-care company, which parted with its creative agency, Euro RSCG McConnaughy Tatham, last week, has gone through four agencies in six years.

Similarly, Midas’ message has varied over the past several years, with taglines ranging from J. Walter Thompson’s “What can we do for you today?” to Tatham’s “Go Midas.”

Lack of a message played a part in the company’s split with Tatham, sources said. The shop presented seven different campaigns to the client in recent months, none of which made it past testing, sources said.

Company representative Bob Troyer said that staff turnover at the agency played a role as well. “Most of the people we worked with are no longer there,” he said.

Troyer wouldn’t name names, but in the past year several key executives, including ceo Mary Baglivo, chief creative officer Bob Welke and executive creative director Jennifer LeMay, who played a part in winning the account for Tatham, are no longer at the agency.

Sources said Midas had been considering consolidating its entire North American account with Ogilvy & Mather in Toronto. However, the company could not work out a conflict with Sears Auto Centers, which is handled out of O&M’s Chicago office, sources said.

Midas will contact “not more than four” agencies as it searches for a new shop, Troyer said. Carat, New York, continues to handle media.