Tandy’s Computer City Awards Its Broadcast Branding To Bloom

Publicis/Bloom has been assigned broadcast creative and strategic positioning duties for Computer City, according to the Tandy-owned company in Fort Worth, Texas.
The Dallas shop was selected after presentations earlier this month against other agencies, including The Lord Group in Fort Worth. All shops in the pitch had previously worked with Computer City or its Tandy sister companies, Radio Shack and the defunct Incredible Universe, said client marketing vice president Joel Carter.
“We’re going to be working with Publicis/Bloom on creating a new brand identity program,” said Carter. The executive previously held a similar marketing post at Incredible Universe, which was a Publicis/Bloom client.
The shop’s imaging work will be utilized for both consumer and business-to-business purposes.
Billings for the agency’s work were undisclosed. Carter, however, said he anticipates Computer City will exceed its total 1997 marketing expenditures of $45 million, which includes direct mail, as it nears a spinoff from Tandy.
Although Publicis/Bloom’s creative work will be centered on television and radio advertising, the message developed by the agency will be carried over into print and direct mail pieces that will be maintained by Computer City’s 60-member internal advertising staff.
Media, which consists primarily of regional print plus spot TV and radio buys, will also be handled in-house. Publicis/Bloom is expected to help in planning and buying any national spots for the 96-store chain.
The agency spent the past year handling radio assignments for the client.
Competitive pressures for Computer City come not only from other retailers like Comp USA and Best Buy, but from direct sales suppliers such as Dell and Gateway. Computer City is opening a new central distribution center and call center to handle mail order sales.
Corporate clients are also a major component of Computer City’s revenues, with $500 million in business sales last year, according to Carter.