Staples' Media Business Goes Into Play

Incumbent MediaCom Invited to Defend $100 Million Account

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Staples has thrown its $100 million media-buying account into review. WPP Group's MediaCom, which has
In the first three quarters of last year Staples spent $91 million on advertising across all media.
In the first three quarters of last year Staples spent $91 million on advertising across all media.
handled all media responsibilities for the office-supply giant in the U.S since 2002, has been invited to participate.

Staples spokeswoman Deborah Hohler told Advertising Age that the retailer sent a request for proposals for its media-buying account to a number of undisclosed shops two days ago.

'Normal course of business'
"As a part of Staples' normal course of business, we review agency relationships on a periodic basis to make sure we are best meeting our evolving business needs," said Ms. Hohler.

The review is being overseen by Marjorie Shaw, director-media services, who reports to Carole McFarland, senior VP-corporate branding and advertising.

According to TNS Media Intelligence, the Framingham, Mass.-based company spent $91 million on advertising across all media in the first three quarters of 2006. In 2005, the company spent $101 million.

Gold Effie last year
Last year MediaCom and Staples' creative agency, McCann Erickson, a unit of Interpublic Group of Cos., won a gold Effie for the effectiveness of their "Easy Button" campaign, which has sold 1.5 million prop buttons.

MediaCom referred calls for comment to the client.
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