Three years after being assigned creative chores for Ames Department Stores, Mintz & Hoke has been awarded the client's media buying duties.
Pro Media in Needham, Mass., had handled the discount retailer's $10 million media buying account for the past three years.
Joseph Ettore, president and chief executive officer at Ames, said there was no review for the media portion of the account. "Our contract was up, and we certainly had some good years, but the reason for the move really came down to the fact that we have an excellent relationship with [Mintz & Hoke]," Ettore said.
"There will be some cost savings, and the local presence makes it easier for us. Mintz & Hoke understands our business and the Ames customer. With this move, we'll get the same level of strategic thinking on the media side that's steered our creative so successfully. It's a powerful partnership," Ettore said.
Pro Media executives could not be reached for comment by press time.
Mintz & Hoke chairman Joe Hoke said he was "delighted" by the win, which culminated a year-end run of new business wins. The Avon, Conn.-based agency's new clients include Shaw's Supermarkets in East Bridgewater, Mass.; Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, N.J.; and The Yofarm Co. in Naugatuck, Conn.
Hoke called Bob Shamyer, vice president and director of marketing services, which includes media, instrumental in the win.
"We've had a great relationship with the Ames folks," said Chris Knopf, president of Mintz & Hoke. "It's a wonderful win for us." Knopf added that the agency was looking to expand its in-house research capability.
Mintz & Hoke's comic "Bargains by the Bagful" campaign has been updated for the discount retailer's 10 or 11 yearly one-day sales events.
Ames, headquartered in Rocky Hill, Conn., is the fifth largest discount retail chain in the country, with nearly 300 stores in 14 states across the country, mostly in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic regions. The company competes with retailers such as Wal-Mart, Kmart, Caldor and Bradlees for middle and lower-middle income customers.
Ames filed for bankruptcy in 1990, emerging two years later minus 371 stores. Ettore was named president and chief executive officer at Ames in 1994.