Lord & Taylor Makes Agency Moves

NEW YORK Lord & Taylor said it has hired WPP Group’s BrandBuzz as its lead agency. BrandBuzz, a unit of WPP’s Y&R Brands, will handle creative duties while media chores remain in-house.

The BrandBuzz selection came after a review that began in November and culminated in creative pitches that took place the first two weeks of January, said sources. In the end, BrandBuzz bested two other undisclosed finalists.

The agency is tasked with relaunching the brand and its first work is expected in the fall.

“We hired BrandBuzz to reappraise the Lord & Taylor brand and to advise us on our advertising, branding and promotions going forward,” said Richard Baker, CEO and president of NRDC Equity Partners, which owns Lord & Taylor. Baker also serves as chairman of the retail chain.

Lord & Taylor also hired the New York-based David Lipman Agency for creative consultation.

“We want the entire family of brands to be cohesive and in synchronicity,” said Baker.

Lord & Taylor spent $25 million in domestic measured media in the first three quarters of 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence. The company spent more than $50 million on ads through all of 2005, per TNS.

The account will be managed by Kara O’Neill, general manager at BrandBuzz in New York. O’Neill also works on the agency’s LG Electronics, NBA and the New Jersey Nets basketball assignments.