News of the review was first reported by Advertising Age magazine Dec. 10.
The list of competing shops is Carat USA, Chicago; Grey Global Group's MediaCom, New York; WPP Group's Mediaedge:CIA, New York; Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun's media unit, Cash Plus, Minneapolis; and Bcom3 Group's StarLink, Chicago.
Incumbent out of review
Incumbent RunSpotRun, the stand-alone media unit of Barkley Evergreen & Partners, Kansas City, Kan., which has the creative account, dropped out of the review, according to executives. The agency did not return phone calls at press time.
StarLink handles national broadcast and Hispanic for the client, while RunSpotRun services the print advertising account. According to Taylor Nelson Sofres' CMR, Payless spent approximately $66 million on measured media in 2000.
Barkley won the creative and media account for both Payless and its Parade of Shoes chain, which sell mid-price women's shoes, in 1999. The agency picked up the business from Interpublic Group of Cos.' Foote Cone & Belding after the Topeka, Kansas-based retailer had been hit with slumping sales that forced it to close division offices in Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago and Dallas.
Barkley's win took the media account out of the hands of incumbent TN Media -- a now-defunct sibling of FCB when the shops were part of True North Communications.
Starlink, a shop that does media for smaller creative agencies, was later given the broadcast buying assignment.
Last month, Payless reported that same-store sales decreased 2.% during the first 10 months of fiscal 2001. Total sales for the first 10 months of fiscal 2001 were $2.49 billion, a 0.9% increase from $2.47 billion during the similar period in fiscal 2000.