Looking to further refurbish its image with online upgrades, Radio Shack is evaluating about a dozen interactive specialists, including at least two in Texas.
Tony Magoulas, the company's manager of media relations, last week confirmed 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 will include redesigning the client's Web site, selling ads on that hub and placing ad banners on other venues. Most of the work will be conducted in 1999.
One source said Radio Shack could commit up to $10 million to interactive activities in 1999. Magoulas would not discuss new media spending.
Among those vying for the account are Click Here, Dallas; SicolaMartin, Austin, Texas; Planet Direct, Andover, Mass.; Think New Ideas, Boston and New York; and Organic Online, San Francisco, sources said. Planet Direct is expected to pitch with Razorfish and K2 Design, both in New York.
Others contacted by the client included Viant in Boston, Eagle River Interactive in Chicago and TBS Media in New York, sources said.
Radio Shack's marketing plans include a greater emphasis on reaching women, one source said.
The retailer'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, was responsible for the client's ad assignments from 1993 until last December, when those chores were moved in-house.
A division of Tandy Corp., Radio Shack operates 6,900 electronics retail stores in the U.S. and Canada.--with Steve Krajewski and Adrienne Man