Saks Group leaves Westwayne

CHICAGO — Laughlin/Constable has acquired a major portion of the Saks Department Store Group account now that Saks has split with WestWayne after just five months.

L/C, with offices in Milwaukee and Chicago, picked up advertising for the Saks Group’s Carson Pirie Scott & Co., Boston Store, Bergner and Herberger chains, with billings pegged at $20 million.

The agency worked with Carson’s from 1992 to 1998 and subsequently held the now defunct Montgomery Ward account.

WestWayne picked up Birmingham, Ala.-based Saks’ $35 million business from Ron Foth Advertising, based in Columbus, Ohio. “They thought they wanted to centralize marketing functions and unify brand approaches,” said a source familiar with the account. “But there was no follow through.”

The Saks Group, which is a separate division from flagship Saks Fifth Avenue under parent company Saks, Inc., operates department stores that includes Parisian, McRae’s and others, in 24 states.

It was not immediately known where Saks’ other properties will land. WestWayne may eliminate as many as a dozen jobs, because of the loss, sources said.