Midas May Also Switch Media

Midas is considering four shops for the creative portion of its $45 million account and is also expected to look for a new media buyer, sources said.
Scheduled to make final presentations for creative duties next week are Chicago shops Cramer-Krasselt and Euro RSCG Tatham and New York agencies Lowe & Partners/SMS and DeVito/Verdi, sources said.
The creative incumbent, Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago, resigned the business, effective immediately, in mid-October following reports that Midas had contacted other agencies. In a release, Midas claimed FCB initially was in the review but then opted to withdraw. Both parties have declined to elaborate on the split.
For now, media buying and planning remain at FCB sister operation TN Media here. But that relationship is expected to be severed in light of FCB’s resignation, with buying either going to the winning agency or to another shop, sources said.
A Midas representative said no changes were forthcoming on media.
The creative review was prompted by new management executives at Midas, including Bruce Hutchison, the company’s vice president of marketing, who is heading the agency search. Hutchison joined Midas in August from Thomson Multimedia and earlier had worked at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles’ office in Troy, Mich. He reports to James Hamrick, senior vice president of merchandising, who is also a recent arrival at Midas.
FCB took over the Midas account last year after J. Walter Thompson in Chicago resigned, citing a conflict with its Ford business. Sources have indicated that problems with the client within JWT also contributed to the move.
Approximately 85 percent of Midas’ estimated 2,700 muffler shops are in the hands of franchisees, who also have a say in advertising. Midas was spun off from Whitman Corp. earlier this year. –with Sloane Lucas and Hank Kim