OfficeMax Shifts to JWT

NEW YORK OfficeMax is shifting its account from Publicis Groupe’s Publicis to WPP Group’s J. Walter Thompson, the client confirmed.

The decision to move to JWT, Chicago, was based on OfficeMax ties to ex-Publicis, New York, chairman and CEO Barry Krause, who became president of JWT’s Midwest operation in January, a client representative said. JWT did not immediately return calls.

The Cleveland, Ohio-based company spent about $40 million in U.S. measured media last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.

OfficeMax marks the second client fallout from last October’s merger between Publicis’ Chicago and New York offices. The client, handled by Publicis in Chicago for nearly three years, was absorbed by New York following the merger. Last month, Indianapolis-based airline ATA, another former client from Publicis in Chicago, moved its account to Romani Bros. in Chicago.

The latest TV effort, which broke earlier this year, had OfficeMax employees extolling the virtues of the retailer’s products and services through a production number. It used the tagline “Max means more,” which Publicis introduced in February 2002.