WPP's Grey Gets RadioShack Creative After Review

Electronics Retailer Concludes Review Despite Sudden Departure of CMO During Final Pitches

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After a review that began in November, Grey , New York, has picked up creative duties for retailer RadioShack, Ad Age has learned. The WPP shop succeeds independent Butler Shine Stern & Partners on the account.

The pitch was launched under Lee Applbaum, who joined the electronics retailer in 2008 and was exec VP-CMO. In a strange turn of events, Mr. Applbaum suddenly left the company last month during the end of the process.

A replacement has not been named, but the creative review continued as planned. In the final round of the pitch, Grey faced off against independent Goodness Mfg, Hollywood, and Interpublic Group of Cos.'McCann Erickson, Detroit. The search was overseen by Santa Monica, Calif.-based consultancy Select Resources International. Butler Shine elected not to participate.

The shift means that RadioShack's creative and media duties are now under the same holding company; media buying and planning is handled by WPP's Mindshare, which was not affected by the review.

Grey will oversee strategic and creative development across all marketing channels, including digital, social, mobile, broadcast and print media. It may not see the same level of spending Butler Shine did, however. RadioShack's overall ad expenses was more than $200 million in 2011, but the retailer, which has 7,300 locations, could be grappling with a smaller marketing budget. It posted weak fourth-quarter results and reset its 2012 expectations because of competition from rivals like Amazon, Walmart and others.

RadioShack representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

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