New Circle R Owners Plan To Expand Shop

The new owners of Circle R, the name of the former in-house advertising agency of RadioShack that once employed 150 people, said last week that they have plans to eventually rebuild the brand as a full-service agency.

“That’s one of the areas we want to provide later on, more creative and content service,” said James Davis, a Shreveport, La., attorney who with two partners bought the production arm of RadioShack’s Circle R Group in a deal that was completed last October. They then renamed it Circle R Media.

The Fort Worth, Texas-based consumer electronics retailer sold the production unit as part of a larger strategy to eliminate non-core businesses. The company indicated at the time that it would keep the Circle R Group, its in-house agency since 1998, to handle at least part of its $250 million account. But following a review won last month by Havas’ Arnold, RadioShack confirmed last week that it has abandoned the Circle R name. Forty-four of the 150 Circle R employees have been laid off, and the rest have been transferred elsewhere in the company, a Radio-Shack rep said. Davis would not say if any of those laid off would be hired back.

Circle R’s future has been the subject of much speculation in the Dallas-Fort Worth market since Arnold was hired. Davis said that his investment was made thinking the business could be built up, making expansion into full-service advertising a logical next step. Circle R, whose facilities are on RadioShack’s 38-acre corporate campus, will handle production for Arnold’s work.