Future Shop Puts $15 Mil. Broadcast Account in Play

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Future Shop, the largest retailer of computers and consumer electronic products in Canada, is talking with agencies in the U.S. and Canada about handling its broadcast creative and media account.

The business covers advertising in both countries. Combined billings are currently at about $15 million in U.S. currency, said Peter DeVerteuil, advertising director for the Burnaby, British Columbia-based retailer, which operates 82 stores in Canada and 24 in the U.S. Projected growth over the next several years could result in the advertising budget increasing to $20-25 million, he said. ‘We continue to put a greater emphasis on broadcast,’ he added.

Agencies invited to participate in the review, according to DeVerteuil, include incumbent McCann-Erickson in Seattle (with its Canadian counterpart MacClaren McCann in Vancouver); W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich.; J. Walter Thompson in Detroit; and BBDO in Vancouver, as well as several undisclosed agencies on the East Coast, West Coast and in Toronto. Toronto-based marketing consultant Jack Steckel is assisting with the search.

It is possible the broadcast creative and media planning and buying assignments could be split, DeVerteuil added. ‘We probably are going to talk to a couple of media buying services,’ he said. ‘But obviously there are some advantages of having one point of contact instead of two.’

Print creative duties and media placement are handled in-house, but the selected agency will provide creative direction on print work.

Three or four finalists will make presentations in late July. A decision is anticipated by Labor Day, DeVerteuil said.

McCann beat out BBDO, Vancouver, the other finalist, for the business about a year ago. ‘It’s not that we’re dissatisfied. We want to just make sure that our needs are being fulfilled, so it made sense to go through this process,’ DeVerteuil said.

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