O2 Agency Gets Parisian Stores

Saks Department Store Group moved closer to finding advertising shops for all its retail chains, awarding its $15 million Parisian Stores account to O2 Agency and its $4 million Younkers business to Laughlin/Constable.

Saks moved its creative account from WestWayne last May after marketing executives representing stores in 24 states demanded an end to the “unified brand strategy” the agency was implementing. The chains are demanding more individual and regional attention.

WestWayne in Atlanta and Tampa, Fla., held the Saks business barely five months.

O2 in Birmingham, Ala., struck quickly, winning crosstown Parisian before local rival Luckie & Co. and others could organize a pitch.

Laughlin/Constable won Younk-ers just weeks after landing Saks’ $22 million Carson Pirie Scott account. That business will be handled out of the agency’s Chicago and Milwaukee offices. Younkers is based in Des Moines, Iowa.

The shop had previously handled Montgomery Ward & Co.’s account until the retailer filed for bankruptcy last year. That experience was key, according to Nancy Altman, senior vice president of marketing and sales promotions at Younkers.

Saks’ other chain, Proffitt’s, based in Knoxville, Tenn., is reviewing its $5 million account, according to company officials. A decision is expected later this month.

The Saks Group oversees more than 250 stores, exclusive of the flagship Saks Fifth Avenue brand.