Looking Into the Future Shop

By Tanya Gazdik

DETROIT–Future Shop, the largest retailer of computers and consumer electronic products in Canada, is talking to agencies about handling its broadcast creative and media planning and placement account.

The business covers advertising in the U.S. and Canada. Combined billings are estimated at $15 million, said Peter DeVerteuil, advertising director for the Burnaby, British Columbia-based retailer, which operates 82 stores in Canada and 24 in the U.S. Projected growth in the next several years could result in the advertising budget increasing to $20-25 million, he said. ‘We continue to put a greater emphasis on broadcast,’ he added.

Agencies invited to participate in the review, according to DeVerteuil, include incumbents McCann-Erickson in Seattle and its Canadian counterpart MacClaren McCann in Vancouver); J. Walter Thompson in Detroit; W.B. Doner & Co. in Southfield, Mich.; and BBDO in Vancouver, as well as several undisclosed agencies on the East and West Coasts and in Toronto. Future Shop is primarily talking to large agencies with retail experience, DeVerteuil said. Marketing consultant Jack Steckel in Toronto is assisting with the search.

The broadcast creative and media assignments could be split, said DeVerteuil. ‘We probably are going to talk to a couple of media buying services. But obviously there are some advantages of having one point of contact instead of two,’ he said.

Print creative duties and media placement are handled internally, but the selected agency will supply creative direction on print.

Three or four finalists will be selected in late July to make presentations. A final selection should occur by Labor Day, DeVerteuil said.

McCann and BBDO Vancouver competed for the account a year ago. ‘It’s not that we’re dissatisfied. We want to just make sure that our needs are being fulfilled,’ DeVerteuil said.

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