RadioShack Launches a Creative Review

Incumbent Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners Will Defend

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After two and a half years of working with Sausalito, Calif.-based indie shop Butler , Shine, Stern & Partners, RadioShack is scouring adland for a new creative shop.

According to a statement issued by the retailer today, the search, which is being conducted by Santa Monica, Calif.-based consultancy Select Resources International, will focus on "identifying world-class agencies capable of delivering transformational creative concepts in a highly competitive retail landscape." RadioShack previously used SRI for a search in which Butler Shine emerged the winner, beating Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Deutsch, Los Angeles; and now-defunct indie shop Modernista.

The company will continue to use The Shack as part of branding, said a spokesman.
The company will continue to use The Shack as part of branding, said a spokesman.

Butler Shine was responsible for developing "The Shack" platform for the electronics retailer in a play to help modernize the brand. According to a company spokesman, "The Shack" branding "will continue to be part of the conversation."

Said Lee D. Applbaum, executive VP-chief marketing officer for RadioShack Corp., in a statement: "We are tremendously proud of the progress we've made in collaboration with our partners at BSSP, energizing our iconic retail brand and igniting fresh conversations with consumers about RadioShack and mobility. Although our brand transformation is far from complete, the needs of the business and demands of the competitive and macroeconomic landscape require a different approach to our creative strategy and execution. Consequently, we must ensure that we are aligned with a partner who can develop and execute retail-centric creative focused ultimately on driving consideration and traffic."

RadioShack's overall ad expenses last year were more than $200 million. It remains to be seen whether RadioShack, which has 7,300 locations, will continue to invest the same level in advertising. The retailer had a tough third quarter, reporting that net income plummeted to less than $1 million from $46 million last year.

RadioShack said the winning agency will be responsible for strategic and creative development across all marketing channels, including digital, social, mobile, broadcast and print media. Media-buying and planning duties, which are handled by WPP's Mindshare, are not in review. The company plans to complete the review process by March 2012 and Butler Shine is expected to defend the business.

Contributing: Natalie Zmuda

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