Starbucks Enlists Draftfcb for DM, CRM

NEW YORK Starbucks has added Draftfcb to its roster of creative agencies to handle a new assignment: direct marketing and customer relationship management duties on the brand’s loyalty cards, sources said.

The Interpublic Group shop participated in a review last year for brand image duties. Omnicom Group’s BBDO won that content. During the process, Draftfcb put forth direct marketing ideas that the Seattle-based client has now bought, according to sources. Account billings could not be determined.

The assignment is said to include Starbucks’ main loyalty card, and cards that promote new product launches as well as the company’s rewards, gold and Product Red cards. The New York office of Draftfcb will handle the business. Draftfcb declined to comment and referred calls to Starbucks, which could not immediately be reached.

Major media spending on Starbucks, including outlays for the stores and branded products sold at retail, totaled nearly $55 million in 2007 and more than $30 million in the first 11 months of 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

BBDO landed creative duties on bottled products like Frappuccino in 2007 and added the brand image account in November.

The bottled products are a joint venture of Starbucks and PepsiCo, which manages marketing efforts.

Draftfcb’s introduction to Starbucks came via work it handled for another joint venture, with Kraft Foods. Since 1998, Kraft has distributed Starbucks-branded coffee beans at supermarkets. That venture began in the U.S and has since expanded to Canada, the U.K. and Switzerland.