Online car dealer Autobytel calls review

Autobytel, the internet car retailer, is reviewing its media planning and buying account. It is not known whether incumbent agency MediaVest Manchester is planning to repitch.

It is understood that the online retailer plans to boost its media spend as part of the review, which is being handled by the AAR. It currently advertises online and in specialist car publications. MediaVest won the account in 2002, it had previously been held by Zed Media, a division of Zenith Media (MW March 14, 2002).

Autobytel’s advertising is handled in house and it is not clear whether this will be affected by the review. The company has used Grey for its creative work.

Autobytel parent company Inchcape recently appointed full-service agency Frank the Agency to its creative account, although it is not clear whether Frank will work with the car retailer.

Autobytel declined to comment on its plans. In 2001 it launched a &£2m press and radio campaign through Edge GMC and Zenith, but last year it spent just &£80,000. Autobytel is one of the most successful online car dealerships. It was launched in 1999 to give consumers the chance to research and compare, free of charge, all makes and models of cars and place a request to buy a car online.

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