WestWayne Gets Saks’ Radio, TV

WestWayne has won the Saks Department Store Group’s broadcast creative account.

The agency’s Atlanta unit, under the direction of chief creative officer Luke Sullivan, will handle radio and television marketing efforts for more than 250 department stores in 24 states.

The campaign will hit major markets including Atlanta; Birmingham, Ala.; Nashville, Tenn.; Omaha, Neb.; and Madison, Wis.

Billings have been estimated at $35 million. Media buys will be handled in partnership with Initiative Media in Los Angeles.

WestWayne, based in Atlanta and Tampa, Fla., won the account after a three-month review that included incumbent Ron Foth Advertising in Columbus, Ohio, and Barkley Evergreen & Partners in Kansas City, Mo.

Michael Markowitz & Associates, a consultancy in Santa Fe, N.M., conducted the review.

“The win was about brand planning,” said WestWayne president Jeff Johnson. “They have eight different stores offering different services to different clientele. Each store needs a unique, compelling brand image.”

The Birmingham, Ala.-based holding company operates traditional department stores in the Southeast and Midwest under the Boston Store, Bergners, Carson Pirie Scott, Herbergers, McRae’s, Parisian, Proffitt’s and Younkers banners. The Sak’s Fifth Avenue stores are operated as a separate division.

The group’s mainstream department stores—except for upscale outlets like Parisian and Carson Pirie Scott—have been increasingly under assault by specialty merchants like Banana Republic, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma. Its low-end retailers like Younkers in Des Moines, Iowa, have been gutted by mass marketers such as Target and Wal-Mart.

“Realistically, we’re going to have to find some common ground among all these nameplates,” said agency senior vice president and director of brand planning Rob Iles, “or else find a way to tease all these differences apart and develop effective strategies.”