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Blockbuster Talks to Shops

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LOS ANGELES Blockbuster is talking to agencies about its estimated $130 million account, according to sources.

A client representative said only that the company "regularly reviews its relationships with its business partners to ensure that we are best communicating our strategic direction."

Blockbuster has not had a lead creative agency since splitting with independent Doner, Southfield, Mich., at the end of last year. Since that time, the Dallas-based client has worked with various shops on projects, including the Component Group, also in Dallas, part of Omnicom's Diversified Agency Services.

Camelot Communications, Dallas, handles the media buying and planning. It is not clear if those duties are in play.

In June, Rebeca Johnson joined the company from Brinker International as chief marketing officer. Her background was principally in restaurants, with high-level marketing jobs at Chili's Grill & Bar, Romano's Macaroni Grill, and On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina.

Blockbuster spent $130 million in measured media in 2007, and approximately $15 million through May 2008, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

Blockbuster's recent and upcoming initiatives include digital download kiosks at stores for portable devices; vending machine distribution in conjunction with NCR; and its MovieLink downloading service, now in the beta phase at Blockbuster.com.

The client is also undertaking a push to convert stores into entertainment destinations, offering rentals of game hardware and software.