QLube Considers 4 Shops

By Scott Hume and Angela Dawson

CHICAGO–Quaker State’s QLube oil change chain has picked four finalists in a review of its $7-9 million account.

The Salt Lake City-based chain will hear presentations at the end of this month from local shops EvansGroup and Harris & Love; The Integer Group in Golden, Colo.; and Valentine Radford in Kansas City, Mo., according to Dick Ostler, vice president of marketing.

QLube’s advertising previously was handled by TBWA Chiat/Day in Venice, Calif., before the account was consolidated at parent Quaker State’s agency, Temerlin McClain in Dallas, in June 1996.

Two months later, however, the consolidated account was moved without a review to Foote, Cone & Belding in Chicago.

FCB has created no advertising for QLube and did not respond to an invitation to participate in the current review, said Ostler, who joined QLube two months ago from computer software marketer Novell in Orem, Utah.

‘We need to shift our marketing focus,’ Ostler said. ‘When we changed our name (from Minute Lube) to QLube, we needed a branding campaign, and that’s what Chiat/Day had done for us. Now what we need is real street-fighting retail marketing,’ he said.

QLube operates about 500 service centers in 55 markets nationwide. ‘Each of those markets has different needs,’ Ostler said. ‘So the agencies we selected (as finalists) all have proven capabilities with multiple market management.’

Final presentations will cover strategic recommendations identifying QLube’s competitive advantages and ways to leverage them over the long term, Ostler said.

While he is interested in ways to use QLube’s extensive consumer database, Ostler said the capabilities of the advertising agency chosen will determine whether he will look for a separate database marketing specialty shop.

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