Petsmart Names GSD&M New Creative Shop After Review

Retailer Had Been Handling Much of Creative In-House

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Fish for sale at a PetSmart store in New York.
Fish for sale at a PetSmart store in New York. Credit: Victor J. Blue/Bloomberg
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Petsmart has named Omnicom's GSD&M its new creative shop.

The decision concludes a review begun by the pet-supply retailer this summer and led by the consultancy Mercer Island Group. In recent years, it had been handling much of its creative in-house. Kansas City, Mo.-based Bernstein-Rein handled creative before that.

Petsmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment. GSD&M declined to comment.

OMD in April picked up Petsmart's media account following the bankruptcy of the retailer's previous media shop, KSL Media.

The company has undergone some changes to its marketing department lately. The chain in May named Phil Bowman its VP-customer experience. Following CMO John Alpaugh's June departure to become CEO of CyberMark International, Mr. Bowman seems to be acting as the de facto CMO, according to execs familiar with the company.

Petsmart has about 1,300 stores and spent nearly $105 million on U.S. measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media, up from about $94 million in 2012.

Same-store revenue increased 2.7% last year but slipped 0.6% in the first quarter of this year, compared with the quarter a year prior, and declined 0.5% in the second quarter.

In its second-quarter earnings release, the company said that it is working on a number of long-term growth initiatives, including "introducing focused marketing designed to highlight our breadth of assortment and value."

President-CEO David Lenhardt earlier this year said that "we know there is work to be done" in order to bring in better sales results. He noted that the company moving forward will be "focused on driving our consumable sales" and "pursuing a more powerful and effective marketing plan and in-store execution that emphasizes the value and breadth of our consumables offerings." He said the company will also improve its efforts to capture online customers.

For GSD&M, the win is the latest in a string. It won the Hampton hotel account in August, the Northwestern Mutual account in July and media planning and buying and select creative projects for Chipotle in late May.

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