PetCo Awards Media Account to Initiative

Shop to Manage Traditional and Digital Buying and Planning Duties

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Pet specialty retailer PetCo has named Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative as its media agency of record. The shop will manage traditional and digital planning and buying duties for PetCo.

Last year PetCo spent $12 million on measured media in the U.S. from January through October, according to Kantar Media. The incumbent on the account was Aegis' Carat, but the agency declined to take part in the review.

Greg Seremetis, VP-marketing for PetCo, said this was the first time the business had been reviewed in more than five years. He said Initiative was the best fit for PetCo's future plans and future growth expectations. "Initiative presented the best solution to a 360-degree integrated marketing mix, which is what we were looking for," Mr. Seremetis said.

PetCo has more than 1,000 retail locations in the U.S. Its chief competitor, Petsmart, spent $58 million on measured media in the U.S. from January through October of last year, according to Kantar Media. Mr. Seremetis wouldn't say PetCo was looking to match PetSmart's ad spending but said the company was considering an increase for 2011.

In 2010 Initiative won the $600 million Merck/Schering Plough account as well as the financial-services company USAA and the California Lottery media accounts. It lost the $25 million Zicam and $12 million ConocoPhillips business last year.

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