M&C Saatchi is understood to have won the estimated 5m RAC account, following second-round presentations from BMP DDB and M&C on Tuesday.
The decision will anger other agencies which have complained about the late addition of M&C to a creative pitch-list that originally included Young & Rubicam, Abbott Mead Vickers. BBDO and Bartle Bogle Hegarty (MW January 22).
The original list was compiled throough the Advertising Agency Register by the RAC’s head of group communications Andy Mitchell and group communications manager Peter Hawtin. It was overseen by marketing director Findlay Caldwell and chief executive Neil Johnson.
Jeffery Tolman, a one-time deputy chairman of Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising, is a non-executive director at the RAC and was involved in the pitch. The review was sparked by Caldwell’s appointment in December 1997.
It is understood that M&C’s suggested strapline will be “movement drives us”.
M&C replaces the virtual agency created by former marketing director Jan Smith, who resigned last October. It included freelance planners and creatives and used the Media Business Group for media buying. Smith’s work supported an attempt to reposition the RAC as a transport company. The decision on the creative account will trigger a review of the RAC’s media resources within the next week.
The RAC said no decision had been taken on the creative account as Marketing Week went to press.