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Payless Selects a Lead Creative Shop

New agency's first work expected in spring

Payless ShoeSource has a new lead agency.

The Chicago office of MARC USA has won the retailer’s creative account after a review, said Dan Pearlman, managing partner and CEO of Bob Wolf Partners/TPG in Santa Monica, Calif., the consultancy that managed the search.

The other finalist was The Richards Group in Dallas.

Media spending on the brand totaled about $65 million in 2001 and $45 million in the first nine months of 2012, according to Nielsen. Those figures don’t include online spending.

The finalists emerged after Payless marketing executives met with a half-dozen shops. Key decision makers included CMO Vincent DeSantis and Dan Zigulich, vp of global creative marketing.

In addition to general market advertising, MARC, through its MARCA subsidiary, will create ads designed to reach Hispanics, including those that will run in Latin America, according to Pearlman. The new agency’s first work is expected in the spring.

Payless hasn’t had a lead creative shop since last year, when the company split with Omnicom Group’s Martin/Williams. Since then, the retailer has employed shops on a project basis; MARC was among those shops.

Media planning and buying were not part of the review and those responsibilities remain at Publicis Groupe’s Optimedia.

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