CompUSA Stages Contest for $10-20 Mil. Account

Ingalls, Mullen Are Believed to Be the Final Pair in Contention
By David Gianatasio and Glen Fest
BOSTON–Ingalls and Mullen are facing off for a national advertising assignment from a division of
computer retailer CompUSA.
The client is looking for a shop to support a new Web site (www.compusanet.com) that allows consumers to buy merchandise online, said sources. The winning agency will be asked to create a brand identity for the offering and a campaign to support it, said sources.
The budget for the assignment may reach $20 million, said a source. Others said initial spending will be about $10 million.
A representative at CompUSA headquarters in Dallas referred questions to CompUSANET.com, the company’s direct sales unit in Marlborough, Mass., which runs the Web site and is overseeing the review.
Officials there did not return calls.
Italia/Gal Advertising in Dallas handles broadcast creative and media duties for CompUSA; print is handled in-house. Italia/Gal’s status is not in jeopardy, but it is not a contender in this pitch, sources said. Officials at Italia/Gal did not return calls.
Agency officials declined comment, but sources believe Ingalls and Mullen are the finalists in the review, which began several weeks ago. A decision is expected before the end of the month.
Although geography appears to be a partial factor in the client’s choice of contenders, another reason Boston-based Ingalls was allowed into the competition was its retail expertise, sources said.
Mullen in Wenham, Mass., is known for its work on Swiss Army Brands and the Sci-Fi Channel. It was not known for what other reasons the shop had caught the client’s eye.
Also unclear is whether the company had considered other shops.
Overall, CompUSA spends about $70 million a year on ads, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Microsoft also recently unveiled its own online store, shop.microsoft. com [Adweek, March 5]. CompUSA, Beyond.com, CDW and Insight are all retail partners currently working with shop.microsoft.com.
–with Justin Dini and Sarah Jones