Wherehouse Selects Colby

Santa Monica Shop Pulls Out All The Stops For Pitch
LOS ANGELES–The old adage “Less is more” doesn’t always apply, especially when it comes to agency reviews.
A case in point was the race for Wherehouse Music Stores’ estimated $20-30 million creative and media planning account, won last week by Colby Effler & Partners. Leaving little to chance, the Santa Monica, Calif., agency used not one, but three separate creative teams in pitching the business, according to agency president and creative director Rick Colby.
The shop bested one other finalist, Bernstein-Rein Advertising in Kansas City, Mo.
Wherehouse last year bought Viacom’s 378-store Blockbuster Music chain, and is now converting those units into Wherehouse stores. Thus, the review asked shops to offer ideas on how to position Wherehouse in new markets and reposition it in its current markets. The merger gives Wherehouse a total of 600 retail outlets across the U.S.
The competing shops made presentations last month. Colby Effler presented Nov. 17, a day the recording industry had dubbed “Super Tuesday,” with new albums from Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Garth Brooks and other mega-artists hitting the market. After its pitch, the agency parked a truck billboard outside the client’s Torrance, Calif., offices that read: “We hope it was a Super Tuesday for us too. Colby Effler & Partners.”
Media buying duties remain with Carat ICG in Los Angeles, and the client will continue to handle some print work in-house.
The win is the agency’s largest since Kim Haskell, executive vice president and head of business development, joined last year from TBWA/Chiat/Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.
The client could not be reached for comment at press time.