Big Lots Hires Lead Creative Agency

Retailer breaks from project-based approach

Big Lots has bundled its creative business at a single shop. The retailer has awarded the account to Barkley after a review. Annual media spending exceeds $50 million, according to Nielsen.

A handful of other undisclosed contenders competed for the business. Pile + Co. in Boston managed the process.

The creative assignment includes broadcast, print, in-store and online advertising.

Previously, Big Lots employed creative shops such as SBC Advertising on a project basis. Media planning and buying was not part of the review and remains at Interpublic Group's Initiative.

In its pitch, Barkley executives "developed ideas that will help us get more credit for our value proposition," said Rob Claxton, svp of marketing at Big Lots in Columbus, Ohio. "They really pushed us and the ideas were backed up by strong strategic insights."

Other accounts at Barkley, an independent shop that's based in Kansas City, Mo., include Krispy Kreme, Rawlings and the Missouri Lottery.

Big Lots arrives a month after Barkley returned to the fast-food category with the addition of Dairy Queen. DQ filled the category hole left by the 2011 exit of Sonic.


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