Pitching for Proffitt’s

Proffitt’s Inc. this week intends to choose one of four agencies to handle a broadcast assignment for four of its five regional department store chains, the client confirmed last week.
The budget is undisclosed. The selected agency, however, may be retained to handle the four chains’ combined ad budgets of approximately $8-10 million.
The Birmingham, Ala.-based Proffitt’s recently heard presentations from its three roster shops: GodwinGroup in Jackson, Miss., which handles McRae’s and Proffitt’s stores; O2 Ideas in Birmingham, agency for the Parisian chain; and Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, responsible for Younkers and the newly acquired Herberger’s.
Each shop’s duties include broadcast creative and media buying–with the exception of the Proffitt’s division, which handles its own broadcast production. The retail chains handle print internally.
Bozell Retail in New York also pitched for the assignment, enabling Proffitt’s marketing executives to “see how the incumbents lined up with someone else,” said Fran Josƒ, senior vice president of marketing and visual for the client.
The broadcast project, Josƒ added, will be a branding effort with a “lifestyle feel” to promote McRae’s, Proffitt’s, Younkers and Herberger’s. Parisian’s marketing will be kept separate.
Although Proffitt’s is considering consolidating the four divisions’ ad accounts with one shop, the project winner will not necessarily gain that business. Josƒ said Proffitt’s has held informal talks with undisclosed agencies around the country regarding a long-term relationship.