Penske Auto Center Is Expected To Pare Contenders in Review

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Penske Auto Center Inc. is expected this week to narrow the review for its $15-22 million account, said sources close to the review.

Harris, Baio & McCullough in Philadelphia, which has been handling television, radio and print advertising for the auto service retailer, headquartered in Troy, Mich., was included in the first round of the review.

Other agencies identified as participating include McCann-Erickson, Troy, Mich.; W. B. Doner & Co. and Mars Advertising, both in Southfield, Mich.; Perich + Partners, Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Impact Communications Group in Chicago.

J. Walter Thompson here was invited to participate, but declined due to conflicts, sources said.

Russell Chick, Penske sales and marketing vice president, earlier confirmed the review, but did not return phone calls last week seeking comment on participants and his intentions to pare the list.

Agencies were expected to return their responses to a request for proposals by May 30. In the first round, agencies were asked to detail credentials including creative talent and media experience, and answer questions including ‘What makes you different?’

The request for proposals advised agencies they must be willing to conduct joint programs with Penske’s strategic marketing partners including Goodyear, Mobil Oil and the National Automotive Parts Association, sources said. Agencies have been told Penske hopes to name an agency by the end of next month.

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