Payless a Big Payday for BE&P

$80 Mil. Account Believed to Be the Largest Ever Brought to K.C.
CHICAGO–Barkley Evergreen & Partners’ $5 million Parade of Shoes business gave the agency a foot in the door to land sister company Payless ShoeSource’s $80 million account.
Payless last week moved advertising and promotions duties to the Kansas City, Mo., shop from Foote, Cone & Belding, Chicago, which had held the bulk of the Payless business for 18 years. BE&P takes over the account in February.
Though Parade and Payless are operated as separate retail shoe chains, management at parent Payless ShoeSource Inc. became aware of BE&P when Parade hired the shop in January following a review of Kansas City agencies. The Parade business had been at Callahan Creek in Topeka, Kan.
BE&P was credited with helping turn Parade’s sales around thanks to a stylish, brand-oriented TV spot currently airing in select markets, company officials said.
When Topeka-based Payless was looking this summer for ideas on retail projects, executives turned to BE&P for proposals, agency officials said.
“Payless was interested in what Barkley could do for them because they were impressed with what they had done for Parade,” said company representative Tim Reid.
Bill Fromm, BE&P’s founder and chief executive officer, said the account is a “tremendous opportunity” for the agency, which reported $192 million in billings last year.
The assignment includes creative, media and strategic planning duties, as well as sales promotions, public relations and event marketing. The agency’s first advertising for the client is expected to break early next year.
The account is believed to be the largest ever brought to Kansas City, said agency president Scott Aylward. Bernstein-Rein’s Wal-Mart assignments and BE&P’s Sonic account both register higher billings, but both have grown since arriving at those shops, Aylward said.
BE&P has already enlisted a Miami agency to aid with Hispanic marketing and is searching for a shop to help with African American marketing, Fromm said.
FCB officials said Payless billings, which did not include promotions and such things as FSIs, came to about $50 million a year.
The agency, which recently sold Payless a campaign to air during the first quarter, will continue to handle Payless advertising in Canada and select marketing projects, company officials said. K