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AUTOZONE SELECTS MPG FOR ADVERTISING MEDIA ACCOUNT

Auto-Parts Retailer Spent $65 Million in 2004

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Auto-parts retailer AutoZone is expected to name Havas-owned MPG as its new media agency, according to executives close to the situation.
AutoZone's media account goes to MPG.

Spending on the account is estimated at $100 million.

Publicis Groupe's MediaVest was a finalist in the review with MPG. MediaVest withdrew from the review because it couldn't reach an agreement on pricing, according to an executive close to the situation.

A spokeswoman for MediaVest said, "We decided in early January that our best course of action was to withdraw from the review, although we still believe MediaVest is the best agency for AutoZone."

Aegis Group's Carat was involved in an earlier stage in the review.

AutoZone, which did not return calls at press time, had previously handled its media buying in-house. The company had assigned creative on a project basis.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based retailer, which has more than 3,000 stores in the U.S., heard pitches in late October 2004. AutoZone spent $53.8 million in measured media for the first 10 months of 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence, which equates to annual spending of $65 million.

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Jean Halliday contributed to this report.

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