Exec’s Departure Stalls Future Shop Review

Future Shop, the largest retailer of computers and consumer electronic products in Canada, has delayed a decision in the agency review for its broadcast account, after the exodus of its advertising director.
A decision was originally expected last week, but it is now planned for late September, said Jack Steckel, a Toronto marketing consultant who is assisting with the search. Agencies made their final presentations at the company’s Burnaby, British Columbia, headquarters the last week in August. They were told then that ad director Peter DeVerteuil was leaving the retailer at the end of that week.
DeVerteuil’s successor has not been named, but agencies were told that the review will proceed in the interim. Steckel continues as the consultant in the search.
The four finalists named in late July were W.B. Doner & Co., Southfield, Mich.; EvansGroup, Seattle; Palmer Jarvis, Vancouver; and Bozell Worldwide, Toronto.
Shortly thereafter, however, Bozell opted not to continue with the review, reportedly after having differences over creative strategies with the company, according to review insiders. J. Walter Thompson, Detroit, subsequently was asked to participate in the final round.
Future Shop said it is considering hiring two agencies: one to handle the broadcast creative work and media buying in the U.S. and another to handle the Canadian portion of the account.
Combined billings are currently at about $15 million annually, but projected growth in the next few years could result in the ad budget increasing to $20-25 million. Print creative duties and media placement are handled internally. The retailer operates 82 stores in Canada and 24 in the U.S. McCann-Erickson in Seattle, the one-year incumbent, did not make the review’s final round. –with Angela Dawson