OfficeMax president Michael Feuer has not commented since the review began last month, and to date has not confirmed the review. But industry sources confirmed that Meldrum & Fewmsith won the business, and that client and agency were hammering out a contract last week.
Meldrum & Fewsmith is said to have ties to top OfficeMax officials through some former Hesselbart & Mitten executives. Meldrum acquired Hesselbart a year ago.
Feuer has a reputation for being a difficult client. Among other things, he hammered down compensation for the account to 8%, a level at which several agencies dropped out of the running after initial meetings.
OfficeMax, which has 166 superstores in 26 states, recently acquired BizMart, a Dallas-based competitor, which adds 104 stores in the Southwest. The BizMart stores will be converted to OfficeMax stores.
BizMart's $10 million account has been handled by Tracy Locke/DDB Needham, Dallas, which was not in the running for the business.
For Ross Roy, which considers Kmart one of its two bedrock clients, the loss of the business is something of a blow. When Kmart acquired OfficeMax in 1991, the account was at W.B. Doner, and Kmart ordered the account moved over to Ross Roy. Since then the account has been spread around, with Ross Roy agency Griswold here handling account management, Ross Roy Advertising in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. buying media, and Ross Roy's New York agency Calet, Hirsch & Ferrell chipping in on creative. CHF handles Kmart creative as well.
Ross Roy still handles two of Kmart's other specialty retailers - The Sports Authority and Builders Square.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)