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Radio Shack Has Answers

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Electronics Retailer Reviews Agencies For Web Work
BOSTON--Looking to further refurbish its image with online upgrades, Radio Shack is evaluating about a dozen new media shops, including at least two in Greater Boston.
Tony Magoulas, the company's manager of media relations, last week confirmed that the search is under way and that about 12 agencies are currently involved. He declined to confirm the contenders or set a timetable for the review. Sources said a decision is expected by mid-September.
The assignment, which sources said could grow to $10 million, will include redesigning the client's Web site, selling ads on that site and placing ad banners on other sites. Most of the work will be conducted in 1999.
Among those vying for the account are Planet Direct, Andover, Mass.; Think New Ideas, Boston and New York; SicolaMartin, Austin, Texas; Click Here, Dallas; and Organic Online, San Francisco, sources said. Planet Direct is expected to pitch with Razorfish and K2 Design, both in New York.
USWeb, Santa Clara, Calif., was believed to have been involved in the early stages of the pitch but had to withdraw because of a "lack of resources" due to commitments with existing clients, according to an agency source. Others contacted by the client included Viant in Boston, Eagle River Interactive in Chicago and TBS Media in New York, sources said.
Radio Shack, on a mission to "rescue an American icon," plans to market more heavily to women and update its '70s-style image, one source said.
Radio Shack's interactive assignments had been handled by Young & Rubicam, although the Fort Worth, Texas-based client most recently has called on its own in-house unit, Circle R Group.
The Lord Group, New York and Fort Worth, handled the client's ad assignments from 1993 until last December, when it moved those chores in-house.
A division of Tandy Corp., Radio Shack operates 6,900 electronic retail stores in the U.S. and Canada. --with Steve Krajewski
and Adrienne Mand