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NAPA Upgrades Its Know How, Adding New Agencies And Execs.

Following reviews that began last October, NAPA Auto Parts, one of radio's most dependable advertisers, has shaken up its agency roster, according to reporting from MediaPost. The retail cooperative has appointed Winston-Salem, NC-based The Variable to handle brand strategy, creative, content and social, while naming Dentsu’s Merkle for customer relationship management and Interpublic Group’s Golin as its first-ever public relations agency.

Additionally, the chain, which reported 2020 revenues of $16.5 billion from its nearly 6,000 stores in the U.S. and more than 10,000 in 15 countries, has made changes to its senior marketing team. Jamie Walton, who had overseen merchandise and strategic marketing for the Asia Pacific division of NAPA's parent company Genuine Parts Company (GPC), has been promoted to Executive VP, Chief Merchandising Officer, while Marti Walsh, who joined NAPA in late 2020 after nearly two decades at The Coca-Cola Co., has been upped to VP, Marketing.

“NAPA has kept people on the road in communities worldwide for the last 100 years, and we plan to do that for the next century,” Walton says.

NAPA's agency attack plan calls for working with Variable on a new brand strategy and its first integrated creative campaign, expected to launch in the third quarter, while Merkle handles the enhancement of loyalty program NAPA Rewards. Golin will be tasked with driving earned media and engagement, thought leadership and influencer strategy, and with a redesign of GPC’s communication strategy.

NAPA ranked 69th among radio advertisers during 2021, airing a total 413,015 spots, according to Media Monitors.

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