Pro Media Keeps Staples, Prepares To Expand Staff

Executives at Pro Media breathed a collective sigh of relief last week when Staples concluded a seven-month review of its media buying and planning account and choose to retain the Needham, Mass.-based agency.
The office supply chain spent $35.4 million on media during the first eight months of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
The Staples business is one of Pro Media’s largest accounts, said agency president Nancy Ryan, who last week showed an Adweek reporter around the new 20,000-square-foot office space she and business partner Les Greenberg purchased in June.
The shop moved into its new quarters a month ago and now has room to expand its staff from its present level of 52 to at least 85. Even if the agency had lost the Staples business, recent account wins have created openings for new employees. Ryan said.
Staples, headquartered in Framingham, Mass., initiated a media review earlier this year after signing a letter of intent to buy Office Depot, its largest competitor. When that deal was shot down by federal regulators, Staples continued with some of its “merger mandated” reviews, including the search for a new media agency.
Pro Media defended the Staples account against both full-service ad agencies and media buying shops from across the country.
“I feel confident that we provide good service for the money, but there’s always that feeling when you’re being tested of, ‘Gee, do we really deliver on what we promise?’ This confirms to us that [Staples] is getting the most for its money,” Ryan said.