Other contenders in the pitch included incumbent Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun, Chicago, Ace's agency since 1997; WestWayne, Atlanta; and Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners, New York.
Goodby Silverstein takes over handling creative immediately, while Ace will retain Horizon Media, New York, as its media buyer, an Ace spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman also said the company will continue featuring Monday Night Football analyst John Madden, who is under contract until 2005, in its
New broadcast and print will support both the retailer's "helpful service" message and attempt to draw traffic to its stores for promotional events. New work will be out in six to nine months, the spokeswoman said.
Tom Hayden, executive vice president and general manager of Campbell Mithun, said, "We'll have to tighten our belt a little but it shouldn't be too big a deal," regarding the loss of the account. "Our remaining billings are still well over $100 million."
Mr. Hayden said he didn't expect to lay off any of the team that handled the account, equal to about three full-time staffers.
According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Ace had billings of $35 million in measured media for 2001.
Ace, founded in 1924, is a retailer-owned co-operative with 5,000 stores in 72 nations.