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Toysrus Goes Shopping

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Retailer Reviews $25 Mil. Online Account
LOS ANGELES--Toysrus.com is searching for an agency to handle creative and media duties for its $25 million account, sources said.
Chicago-based Leo Burnett handles ad duties for both Toysrus.com in San Francisco and its bricks-and-mortar counterpart, Toys "R" Us. The agency is not expected to defend the Web business, sources said. Burnett's Starcom Worldwide handles media for both.
According to an RFP issued last week, Toysrus.com is contacting midsized to large shops with billings of at least $100 million. The company "prefers a San Francisco- or Los Angeles-based agency," the RFP states, "but is open to exploring New York or other geographic options, provided the agency has exceptional credentials and is considered a potentially perfect fit."
Based on credentials and past work, the company will draw up a list of 6-8 shops to visit before selecting three to four contenders. Select Resources International, Los Angeles, is managing the process.
Toysrus.com, which operates separately from the toy-store chain, needs a shop with "a strong retail mentality" that can reach "moms and kids," the RFP adds. Notably, the company would prefer a shop without tobacco business, noting it is "highly ethical" and "family oriented."
Burnett has handled the Toysrus.com account since last July. Its first campaign broke during last year's holiday season. It highlighted the site's ready availability of toys during that busy time, showing a boy playing with a rain check instead of a toy.
Ironically, Toysrus.com had a difficult time meeting demand and did not process many orders in a timely manner. Despite that, Burnett executives point to the site's overwhelming demand as proof of its advertising's success. --with Aaron Baa