Carwash Association to tout benefits of professional car cleaning

CHICAGO: The International Carwash Association wants Americans to come clean - or at least get their cars washed.

CHICAGO: The International Carwash Association wants Americans to come clean - or at least get their cars washed.

The 2,800-member association has picked Ketchum from among seven agencies for a three-year campaign to tout the benefits of going to the car wash.

The group will spend in the mid-six-figure range in 2003. Budgets haven't been set for the following two years.

"It's the first time that our industry's ever undertaken a consumer-education program," said Mark Thorsby, the association's executive director.

The campaign, under the theme "Car Love," will kick off on Valentine's Day 2003, and will include media relations, events, a new website, hiring a spokesperson, contests, and heavily pitching drive-time radio DJs. Major message points will include the benefits of having cars professionally cleaned and the environmental benefits of using a car wash rather than disposing of dirty, soapy water at home, Thorsby said.

The car wash business is a fragmented one, with a multitude of local operators around the country, all offering different prices and services.

As a result, advertising hasn't proven effective in the past, said Thorsby.

He added that the busy schedules most people keep means they would rather go to a professional car wash than do the job at home in their driveways.

"The poverty of time has really become critical in our society," Thorsby said.

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