Western AAA Affiliate Retains See:

SAN FRANCISCO The American Automobile Association of Northern California, Nevada and Utah has hired independent agency See: to create a fall ad campaign.

The client awarded its creative and media buying business to See: after a competitive review that began in March. The three other finalists were all San Francisco shops: WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson, independent Grant, Scott & Hurley and Publicis Groupe’s Publicis & Hal Riney.

The incumbent agency was Dailey & Associates in Los Angeles, according to a client representative. It was not clear if Dailey defended the business.

Dailey last produced tactical, targeted advertising for the company, said client rep Jennifer Mack. The previous full ad campaign was seven years ago, Mack said.

The client, declining to provide spending figures, calls the business a “multi-million dollar account.” Overall, the American Automobile Association spent $22 million on advertising in 2003, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR. Of that total, $2 million was for insurance. None of the data was broken out individually for Northern California, Nevada or Utah.

The new broadcast and print campaign will highlight the AAA club’s insurance and travel services, as well as its well-known roadside assistance and member discounts.

“Winning the business of one of the strongest American consumer brands is an important achievement in our continued growth,” said Eileen Arbues, president and CEO of See:. “We look forward to partnering with AAA to continue to evolve and build on their success.”

See:, based in San Francisco and London, has a client roster that includes Electronic Arts, MTV Networks, Grand Marnier, the Exploratorium and the Embarcadero Center.

“All of us in the AAA family are extremely pleased and looking forward to working with the talented people at See:,” said Alexandra Morehouse, AAA’s chief marketing officer. “San Francisco has some of the most creative ad talent in the world, so we were lucky to be able to select from among the best.”

AAA of Northern California, Nevada and Utah was founded 104 years ago. With 4.1 million members, it is the second-largest affiliate of the AAA federation.