Superstore Chain Considers 5 Shops in Review
DETROIT–Borders Books & Music is considering Arnold Communications, Grey Advertising, Perich + Partners and two undisclosed agencies for its $10 million account, sources said.
The Ann Arbor, Mich.-based retailer assigned creative duties in July 1997 to Butler, Shine & Stern in Sausalito, Calif., while media planning and buying was delegated to Carat North America in New York. Perich handled creative and media before that shift.
It was unclear whether Butler will defend the business, sources said. Several presentations have already occurred and a decision is expected within 30 days. Executives at Perich in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Grey in New York declined comment.
An Arnold executive confirmed that a meeting took place. Liz Vanzura, the advertising director at Volkswagen of America–the Boston shop’s largest client–is married to Rick Vanzura, senior vice president of e-commerce and fullfilment at Borders.com Sarah Thornton, who arrived at Borders as marketing manager just before its last agency review, left the company last fall. Thornton was believed to be instrumental in Butler’s selection. Her successor, Mary Campbell, was recently elevated to the position from within; she reports to Marilyn Slankard, Borders’ marketing vice president. Slankard could not be reached for comment on Friday.
The review is for both creative and media buying for advertising that will promote the company’s stores and its Web site.
Borders’ main competitors are Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com, both of which have recently launched big campaigns touting their vast online selection.
Borders last May added an online operation, Borders Online, which has developed an e-commerce site under the domain name Borders.com that stocks some 10 million books, CDs and videos.
–with Jane Irene Kelly and Kathleen Sampey