Sears will look at the compensation factor

Morgan, Anderson & Co., is well on its way to fulfilling at least half of its consulting mission for Sears Merchandise Group. Last week the finalists for the $30-million apparel business were announced.
Sears picked Young & Rubicam, Hal Riney & Partners and Wells Rich Greene BDDP to vie for its apparel business. Gone from the review are incumbent Ogilvy & Mather and Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising.
However, sources said last week that New York-based Morgan Anderson has another assignment from Sears–to analyze compensation levels. It will take a look at fees paid Ogilvy & Mather/Chicago, which does some $200 million in Sears retail business here, and Focus Media/Studio City, Calif., which buys certain media for the retailer.
A source involved in the apparel review said compensation never came up during the presentation process, but that the issue may have come up in closed-door sessions. More likely, he said, will be that compensation becomes a big issue once the new agency is picked.
Executives at O&M and Focus Media declined to comment.
Among the finalists named last week, Y&R remains the favorite. Several sources close to the review said that the longtime personal friendship between Sears Merchandise Group chairman/ceo Arthur C. Martinez and Y&R president Peter Georgescu is a persistent factor.
However, recently appointed marketing chief, and one-time Procter & Gamble executive, John Costello, worked at WRG.
Hal Riney, which apparently has no personal connections to Sears was a strong favorite going into the last round, however sources said none of the five agencies “blew Sears away.”
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)