McGarryBowen wins Sears $490 mm account

Y&R has lost the Sears account, a mainstay of the agency for the past 18 years, but thankfully the big billing account will remain in Chicago, unlike all too many accounts that leave the city altogether. 

Fast-growing McGarryBowen is now the lead strategic and creative agency for the Sears brand, having picked up an estimated $365 million in Sears billings and an estimated $125 million from Kmart.

Y&R will continue to handle other Sears assignments, such as creating campaigns for Sears’ Craftsman tools, DieHard automotive supplies and Kenmore Batteries. 

Kmart’s apparel and home lines that had been handled by Draftfcb goes to Minneapolis company Peterson Milla Hooks (PMH), whose retail experience comes from Target.  Draftfcb, however, remains the  lead strategic and creative agency for the Kmart brand.

The switch comes from Sears’ need for a fresh, new image and tagline, targeting younger customers yet retaining older female shoppers, as first quarter sales dropped 5.2% compared with the same quarter last year.  

McGarryBowen, founded in 2002 in New York, is part of the Dentsu Network West unit. The Chicago office has been a roll with new business coming in from Kraft, Verizon, Advil and 7UP from Y&R.  It’s also a finalist for Burger King’s creative.   

MICKEY GROSSMAN, a partner in Grossman & Jack talent agency for the past 16 years, died peacefully in his sleep Monday afternoon, at his home, after a battle with pancreatic cancer.   Funeral services to be announced.

WITH A BOWL OF RED APPLES on the reception desk, Leo Burnett’s Big Apple operation has grown from a service office for clients such as Samsung, to a full-fledged agency operation.

Located in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, the new office has 15 full-time staffers, led creatively by former Leo Burnett Sydney ECD Jay Benjamin. 

They are working with long-time client P&G on a global product launch, and the office is already pitching accounts in other categories. 

Burnett says the New York expansion is its first attempt to “build a new offering under the Leo Burnett banner from the ground up.” With $777 million in billings, Publicis’ second biggest agency network is obviously targeting greater growth.

LEO BURNETT’S CHICAGO BUILDING, the 1.1 million-sq. ft. tower at 35 W. Wacker Drive, reportedly will be purchased by banking giant UBS A.G. for $400 million dollars, Crain’s reports. Sources say the price equates to almost $364 per square-foot. 

CHANGING TIMES. Cramer/Krasselt’s Rob Yaeger, VP lead producer/head of production has replaced Danny Paul who left the agency for personal reasons … Meanwhile, C/K producer Danielle Keenan and Euro associate producer Mariana Perin joined Energy BBDO as integrated producers … The Acquity Group hired creative director Dominic Lee, a former CD at Arc Worldwide and Leo Burnett.

WATCH FOR the Michael Bay-directed Transformers: Dark of the Moon that shot here for three months last summer will arrive in theatres before you know it.  The big budget (estimated at between $200 and $400 million) blockbuster will hit theatres June 29.  It stars Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Julie White, Kevin Dunn, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Alan Tudyk and John Malkovich.

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