ICA Tabs Ketchum

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ICA Tabs Ketchum

CHICAGO -- The International Carwash Association has entered into a $400,000 publicity agreement with Ketchum to bolster the industry?s reputation.

The move comes as the car-wash segment is aggressively working to penetrate the convenience store industry, as well as heralding the advantages of professional car care over do-it-yourself driveway washes.

"We found Ketchum?s consumer education and media relations expertise -- as well as their enthusiasm -- an ideal fit for ICA?s industry brand-building goals," said ICA Executive Director Mark Thorsby. "We?re looking forward to implementing Ketchum?s strategic campaign so ultimately consumers will incorporate regular car-wash visits into their car-care rituals."

The PR drive is part of ICA?s ramped-up efforts to grow the car-wash business, a high-margin enterprise, as another revenue source for convenience stores and supermarkets, as well as representing a profitable stand-alone opportunity.

The campaign, which will launch in the first quarter of 2003, is further designed to generate national and local awareness and understanding about the emotional and financial benefits from professional car washes while minimizing environmental impact, ICA said. It will be executed by Ketchum?s Chicago office.

"Americans have special relationships with their cars," remarked Lee Bush, senior vice president of Ketchum?s Brand Marketing practice. "We?re going to capitalize on this by showing consumers that professional car washes are a smart way to show affection. Not only do they help preserve a car?s finish, but they also provide emotional satisfaction."

A global company with 23 offices worldwide, Ketchum was named PR Week?s 2002 Agency of the Year and specializes in six domains: brand marketing, corporate communications, healthcare, food & nutrition, technology, and change management / workplace communication.