Genuine Parts Company moves ‘significantly under-serviced’ media account from Mediacom to Initiative

Initiative Melbourne has won a competitive pitch to win the media planning and buying account for automotive parts and accessories provider Genuine Parts Company, ending the brand’s relationship with incumbent Mediacom.

The search for a new media agency began after an internal evaluation of its agencies revealed that GPC’s media services were being “significantly under-serviced”.

The handover has occurred and the appointment is effective, with Initiative’s remit stretching across both the Australian and New Zealand markets and covering a portfolio of brands including Repco, NAPA, and Sparesbox.

“Not all agencies are equal. Finding the right media partner for our business is key to our continued success,” said general manager of marketing across Australia and New Zealand, Diana Di Cecco.

“It is quite a cluttered media market out there so it’s important that our future agency met our business needs and were a perfect fit from a values perspective. We’re delighted to appoint Initiative Melbourne as our media partner and excited about how they will deliver in the key areas.”

Di Cecco said the pitch process was “intense”, and quipped that “I wouldn’t want to be the agency going up against them [Initiative] in a pitch”.

“It showed us who Initiative really are and provided a lens into their approach to media and business,” she said.

“They showcased high levels of professionalism and superior strategic thinking, balanced with tactical and integrated communications. It was easy to see they were passionate and performed well under pressure.

“Most importantly, there was genuine chemistry between our teams from the very first meeting. The sum of this made the decision obvious.”

Di Cecco

Work has begun on the account, with formal planning and activation to commence in coming weeks. It won’t be a transactional relationship, Di Cecco explained, adding: “Agencies should be an extension of the marketing team and not simply ‘book spots’. There’s more to it than that.

“We want to more effectively communicate with existing customers, engage prospective customers and build customer-based brand equity. That’s what marketers do. We can’t do it alone. We need exceptional partners.”

Initiative Melbourne’s managing director, Sarah James, said its a pleasure to work with a brand that “generations of Australian motor enthusiasts have grown up” with.

“We are thrilled to be selected to help them accelerate their customer connectivity,” James said.

“Like most organisations, GPC is adjusting to new parameters of customer relationships across their brand portfolio and we are focused on helping lead the way.”

So far this year, Initiative has won Goodman FielderAussie Home Loans and Pernod Ricard, adding to a string of wins last year including Carnival Australia, Lotterywest, Deliveroo, Fujitsu, Australian Radio Network, Remedy and KPMG. In the past 12 months, the agency has retained 100% of clients as the incumbent in reviews.

Last month, the IPG Mediabrands agency also promoted chief strategy officer Sam Geer to national managing director, and elevated national strategy director Chris Colter to fill the chief strategy officer role. The holding company is still dealing with reduced hours, a hiring freeze, a pause on pay rises and discretionary spending, and a small number of redundancies in response to COVID-19.


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