Best Buy’s Shift to Starcom Stings Crispin

Though Best Buy’s creative assignment stays at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, the MDC Partners’ shop was stung today by the retailer’s decision to consolidate its $300 million media business at Publicis Groupe’s Starcom. That shop, meanwhile, is enjoying a week of riches.

The assignment had been shared by the two agencies, with Starcom handling media buying and Crispin overseeing planning chores.

That marks two wins (MetLife and Cadbury’s Milka brand) and a loss of note in the brief CEO tenure of Crispin’s Andrew Keller, who was promoted to chief executive as October drew to a close after serving as the shop’s creative leader. He has big shoes to fill, supplanting industry star Alex Bogusky as the agency’s most visible human asset.

For Starcom, Best Buy was the second huge account acquisition this week. On Monday, Darden awarded the shop media duties for its Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, with spending of about $300 million. Darden also cited integration as a key factor in its decision.

Along with Starcom, sister shops Razorfish and Tapestry will handle some duties on Best Buy as well. Razorfish is digital specialist while Tapestry focuses on multicultural assignments.

In a statement, the client said, “We regularly review all of our agency relationships and activities. In an effort to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our media investments, we recently made a decision to move our media planning and buying to Starcom, in an integrated partnership with Razorfish and Tapestry under the Publicis umbrella. In addition, this move supports Best Buy’s objective to drive an integrated marketing model.”

With this consolidation, all four remaining shops are surely hoping this is sufficient “integration” for now.

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