RadioShack Mulls 4 Finalists

NEW YORK RadioShack is briefing four finalists this week in its creative review, sources said.

Sources identified the contenders as Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago, independent Modernista! in Boston, Interpublic Group’s Deutsch/LA in Marina del Rey, Calif., and independent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners in Sausalito, Calif.

No longer in contention is the incumbent, Havas’ Arnold in Boston, whose president, Pam Hamlin, said in a statement: “It became quickly apparent to us that this review is being driven by new management’s desire for change.” Hamlin added: “We’ve decided to focus our energy and resources in more productive ways. But we plan to be back in the consumer electronics category very soon.”

RadioShack had no immediate comment and the contenders either declined to comment or did not return calls.

The finalists emerged after client executives visited some seven shops. Other agencies that did not advance included independent McKinney in Durham, N.C., and IPG’s Lowe in New York, per sources.

RadioShack executives are briefing the contenders at the company’s headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, according to sources. Final presentations are slated for late March.

The chain faces a “brand relevance challenge” because consumers are less reliant on its sales associates for advice and increasingly get their technology questions answered online, according to the company’s initial request for proposals.

Major media spending on the brand exceeded $125 million in 2007 and $105 million in the first 11 months of 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Account revenue is estimated at $10 million. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the review.

Media duties are not in play and remain at Aegis Group’s Carat in Dallas.

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