Napa Auto Parts Puts Advertising Business Under Review

Fahlgren, Chain's 26-Year Agency of Record, Likely to Defend $30 Million Media, Creative Account

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NEW YORK ( -- Car-parts retail chain Napa Auto Parts is inviting agencies to pitch its $30 million creative and media account, executives familiar with the matter said.

Columbus, Ohio-based shop Fahlgren, the brand's agency of record for the past 26 years, is expected to defend the account.

Atlanta-based Napa, whose parent is auto and industrial parts company Genuine Parts Co., has hired Bedford Group Consulting to manage the search, executives said.

Representatives for Napa could not be immediately reached for comment, but incumbent Fahlgren said it plans to defend the account. "We've worked with Napa for more than 20 years and we are definitely participating in the review," a spokeswoman said.

Napa represents the biggest chunk -- nearly 50% -- of its parent's revenue, which totaled more than $11 million in 2008. That's a 2% increase over 2007, despite a sluggish market for vehicle maintenance and repairs thanks to higher fuel costs resulting in less miles driven, and lower consumer spending on repairs. At the same time, consumers are more likely to make small improvements and tune-ups than make large-ticket purchases such as a new car.

The marketer, which has nearly 6,000 Napa Auto Parts stores and 12,000 Napa AutoCare centers across the country, spent close to $30 million on domestic measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Historically Napa has done a mix of traditional advertising, promotions and experiential efforts.

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