TNS Media Intelligence puts total U.S. media spending for the two retail units at about $84 million.
The incumbent, WPP Group's Mediaedge:cia, has resigned the account because it has been "unable to reach acceptable financial terms" with the footwear company, according to an agency spokeswoman.
Doesn't affect creative
The review, which will be handled by Joanne Davis Consulting, does not affect creative assignments for Payless and Stride Rite, which are handled by a number of agencies including Omnicom Group's Martin Williams and Publicis Groupe's Bromley Communications, according to a spokeswoman for Collective Brands.
The new-media agency will be responsible for the media planning and buying for Payless' U.S. general, U.S. Hispanic, Canada and Puerto Rico markets, as well as the North American efforts for Stride Rite's brands. The company plans to announce a new agency assignment by April.
Headquartered in Topeka, Kan., Collective Brands includes Payless ShoeSource, a retail chain with more than 4,500 locations; Stride Rite, which includes brands such as Keds and Saucony; and Collective Licensing International, a brand-development unit with youth lifestyle brands including Airwalk, Lamar and Skate Attack.