Early-Bird McCarthy Catches Trophy Nissan

By Glen Fest

DALLAS–Jumping the gun on a review scheduled for May by the client, The McCarthy Cos. here got its foot in the door early to snag a $2 million account for Trophy Nissan of Mesquite, Texas.

After hearing that Trophy general sales manager Jim Ross was seeking an agency to take over the company’s in-house advertising, automotive marketing agency owner Tim McCarthy spent a week cajoling the dealership until his little-known agency was handed the keys to the account.

Trophy becomes the 10th Nissan dealership on the three-year-old firm’s roster and the 27th overall. The win also capped a three-month period during which the agency picked up four other regional dealership accounts worth $3.2 million in annual billings. ‘We just knew they (Trophy) were one of the few clients that would market well with our level of aggressiveness,’ said McCarthy.

Ross said Trophy Nissan will keep its newspaper advertising in-house, but wanted more ‘exciting’ creative to add to the dealership’s television and radio mix.

‘I had two to three agencies in mind, but I was holding everyone off until May,’ said Ross, who previously oversaw the advertising work for the volume-heavy dealership. ‘But (McCarthy) used every trick in the trade to get in the door. He showed a lot of aggressiveness, plus he has a good knowledge of the Nissan business.’

Ross said his growing time constraints led to the decision to hire an agency, but he had no comment on whether the account move was also predicated on dissatisfaction with Nissan’s national branding efforts. Reports of dealers unhappy with customer traffic flow stemming from the ‘Enjoy the Ride’ campaign have surfaced alongside the creative accolades given to Nissan branding agency TBWA Chiat/Day.

The other dealers landed recently by McCarthy include Jim Kerras Nissan Buick of Memphis, Tenn.; Nissan of Olathe in Kansas City, Kan.; Wray Ford of Shreveport, La.; and Benson Chrysler Jeep Eagle and Benson Nissan of San Antonio. To keep pace with the growth, McCarthy recently hired media director Marci Dolan, formerly of Zenith Media in Dallas, and promoted Karen Fleig to vice president of account services.

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