Secret Weapon Picks Up Ikea in L.A.

LOS ANGELES Secret Weapon Marketing has been awarded creative duties for Ikea North America’s Los Angeles market without a review, the client said.

Billings are approximately $4 million, the client said. Ikea spent $40 million on ads overall in the U.S. in 2003, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The Los Angeles business had been with MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami. The shop, which also has an office in Venice, Calif., retains Ikea’s national account.

“We still believe in CP+B 100 percent,” said Ikea representative Rich D’Amico, adding that Ikea has assigned CP+B to handle new markets, including Minneapolis; New Haven, Conn.; Philadelphia; and Tempe, Ariz. “The L.A. market is a special situation because we have the most stores concentrated in one area. We needed a different kind of talent, a different kind of agency.”

Ikea, based in Plymouth Meeting, Pa., has four stores in the Los Angeles area, D’Amico said.

In a statement, CP+B said: “Although we are disappointed, we understand the challenges they face in that particular market and will work with them to assure that the national brand identity stays consistent with whatever individual efforts they undertake.”

Officials at Secret Weapon, an independent shop in Santa Monica, Calif., that also works with Jack in the Box and Activision, could not immediately be reached.

The decision to separate ad duties for the Los Angeles market from the national account comes just weeks after Ikea awarded duties for its Canadian account, also previously handled by CP+B, to independent Zig in Toronto.