Staples Moves Media

Staples’ decision last week to move its buying and planning to Grey’s MediaCom from small independent Pro Media was driven by the agency’s ability to help the office supply chain compete in an increasingly complicated media environment.

“We felt they were the right agency for us in a complex world,” said Marci Grebstein, vp, media and marketing communication for the client.

The depth and breadth of MediaCom’s buying and planning expertise, not necessarily the size of the shop itself, led to the agency’s selection, Grebstein said. She declined to disclose specific search criteria.

Citing MediaCom’s ability to negotiate rates, Grebstein said, “Cost was certainly a factor, but not the only factor.”

The assignment, consisting mostly of broadcast chores, is estimated at $50-60 million. Creative duties are handled by New York agency Cliff Freeman and Partners.

ProMedia, in Natick, Mass., had defended the media account in a lengthy review, which launched in late summer. Besides MediaCom in New York, the other contenders were undisclosed.

Nancy Ryan, chief executive of Pro Media, said there will be no layoffs among the 70-person staff in the wake of Staples’ decision to part ways. The company and Pro Media enjoyed a decade-long relationship.

Though Staples has been the shop’s largest single piece of business, an estimated 7 percent staff reduction in July combined with the reassigning of staffers to other accounts make layoffs unnecessary, Ryan said.