Sears’ Costello to Join Republic

‘Softer Side’ Architect Leaving at Year’s End
CHICAGO–Sears, Roebuck & Co. said it expects no changes in its agency roster to result from last week’s unexpected announcement that John Costello is resigning as executive vice president and general manager of marketing.
Costello, who directed development of the “Softer side of Sears” positioning, has been the retailer’s marketing chief since 1993. Prior to that he had been an executive vice president at now-defunct Wells Rich Greene in New York.
Costello is leaving the Hoffman Estates, Ill.-based retailer to become president of Republic Industries in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Mark Cohen, Sears’ senior vice president of merchandising, will succeed Costello on Jan. 1, the company announced.
Sears’ lead advertising agencies are Young & Rubicam in New York, which handles most “soft” goods such as apparel, and Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, which handles advertising for hard goods such as appliances, automotive and Craftsman tools, as well as Sears’ event marketing.
Sears spent $493 million on all brands over the first nine months of 1998, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
Republic Industries, a Wayne Huizenga venture, is the parent company of Alamo Rent-a-Car, National Car Rental and AutoNation USA used car superstores. As president, Costello will be responsible for developing and directing the company’s brand-building and marketing efforts.
The company spent about $76 million on advertising for all its brands over the first nine months of 1998, according to CMR.