JC Penney Taps R/GA for Digital Work

Latest Shop to Join Roster of Agencies as Retailer Revamps Marketing

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JC Penney has tapped R/GA to handle digital marketing and e-commerce.

The shop was brought on board at the end of last year and is expected to work with the retailer on a variety of digital projects. A JC Penney spokeswoman confirmed the relationship, but declined to offer details on the scope of work.

According to an agency spokeswoman, "R/GA was brought on based on their history of digital product, service and marketing innovation for a variety of retail clients."

R/GA counts Nike, American Eagle, Verizon and Barnes & Noble among its retail clients. It also did a significant amount of work for Walmart, before splitting with the retail giant in late 2011.

JC Penney previously worked with Razorfish on digital efforts.

Since parting ways with Saatchi & Saatchi a year ago JC Penney has relied on several smaller shops, including Mother and Minneapolis-based Peterson Milla Hooks.

Nearly a year ago CEO Ron Johnson introduced his plans to reinvent the department store to great fanfare. But he has been forced to adjust both the retailers' marketing and its sales strategy amid slumping sales.

The upbeat, colorful marketing rolled out in the first half of 2012 made people rethink JC Penney and was entertaining, Mr. Johnson has said, but it didn't reach the core customer and didn't build the business. To that end, the brand shifted to more direct, product- and price-focused messages in the second half. Mr. Johnson has also shifted money from TV ads to print ads.

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