PetSmart Drops GSD&M, Takes Marketing In-House

By Erik Oster 

PetSmart has parted ways with agency of record GSD&M and decided to take most of its marketing in-house, just seven months after signing the agency and nine since issuing a creative review, AdAge reports. The company spent $113 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to Kantar Media.

The move follows the purchase of the company by a BC Partners-led consortium in December, a deal which was finalized in March. As a result of the deal, Eran Cohen replaced Phil Bowman as executive vice president, customer service as part of the company’s new leadership team — likely the impetus for the decision. Prior to issuing a creative review last August, the company had fielded much of its advertising in-house, so the move comes as a return to an older model following the company’s short-lived relationship with GSD&M. The announcement follows Land Rover’s decision at the end of March to move all of its advertising to in-house agency Spark44. That same month, Chobani announced it would be dropping Droga5 as its agency of record, in favor of “more in-house and project-based agency partners.”

“While we appreciate the efforts of GSD&M, we’ve decided not to continue our partnership with them,” Michelle Friedman, a spokeswoman at PetSmart, told AdAge. “We will resume management of all creative work with our in-house team.”

GSD&M, meanwhile, said in a statement, “We are proud of the work we created together and wish everyone at PetSmart the best during their transition.”

GSD&M’s work for the brand included “Partners in Pethood” (featured above), a campaign directed by Christopher Guest, which debuted during the Oscars.