Proffitt’s Completes The Sweep

Carson’s Business Consolidated with Foth
CHICAGO–The clock that began ticking in October on Laughlin/Constable’s Carson Pirie Scott & Co. business has run down, leaving the agency facing possible layoffs in the wake of the loss of that $10 million account.
The Milwaukee, Wis.-based Carson’s department store chain was acquired in a stock deal valued at $790 million by Proffitt’s, Alcoa, Tenn., in a deal announced in October and consummated in January.
In September, Proffitt’s had consolidated $16 million of its retail billings at Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio. Foth now picks up Carson’s broadcast account that had been at Laughlin/Constable.
It is a hefty blow for the Milwaukee agency, but not one that took executives there by surprise.
“With the news in October that Proffitt’s was acquiring Carson’s, it was clear that this was something that could happen,” said Steve Laughlin, managing partner of the Milwaukee and Chicago agency.
Foth is the big winner, adding Carson’s to its ad duties for Proffitt’s self-named department store chain and its Herberger’s, McRae’s and Younker’s store divisions.
Laughlin/Constable did not compete with Foth for the business, said Julie Tarney, president of Laughlin/Constable’s public relations unit. Foth, the agency for Proffitt’s Younker’s chain, added the client’s three other chains after a competition with O2 Ideas in Birmingham, Ala., and the Godwin Group in Jackson, Miss.
Tarney said the agency will evaluate its staffing levels in light of Carson’s termination. –Trevor Jensen