7-Eleven Moves Within Omnicom

Convenience chain 7-Eleven has hired Omnicom’s Tracy Locke Partnership to handle creative duties for its estimated $30 mil-lion account, the client confirmed.

The move follows GSD&M’sresignation of the business, which the Austin, Texas, Omnicom shop won eight months after a review that included finalists Deutsch and Wie-den + Kennedy, both New York.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven chief marketing officer Russ Klein said he met with undisclosed local agencies in a “very thorough but informal” review that lasted only a week.

Klein said he concentrated on shops in Dallas because the talent was there, and “with the nature of our business being retail and fast-paced, I wanted to have a partnership in close proximity,” he said.

Klein said he was impressed with TLP’s retail savvy, work ethic, service leadership and versatility.

Klein worked with TLP president and chief creative officer Robert Chimbel 14 years ago when the creative was at Leo Burnett in Chicago and Klein was the chief marketing officer of 7-Up.

Klein said 7-Eleven is not expecting to decrease media spending. Camelot Communications continues to handle media. Other Omnicom shops TPN and Dieste Harmel & Partners also remain on the roster.

“It’s a red-letter day for Tracy Locke,” Chimbel said. “This is a very important name in this market.”

GSD&M representative Eric Webber said his agency resigned the account after a conflict emerged with Winston-Salem, N.C.-based Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, which is expanding both its brand presence and coffee line.

“The coffee business is an emerging growth opportunity for Krispy Kreme and it’s a possibility we’ll handle advertising for those efforts, so that creates a conflict,” Webber said.

The potential conflict with Krispy Kreme was discussed during the 7-Eleven review earlier this year, Webber said, adding that both sides did not think it would be a problem.

Krispy Kreme has no recorded media spending since 1998, according to CMR, but Webber said GSD&M has handled “nontraditional” advertising for the client. The company has recently used guerrilla marketing and point-of-purchase materials as well as product placements to promote sales.

CMR reports 7-Eleven’s 2001 ad expenditures were $34 million.