True North to be involved in Penney review

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J.C. Penney Co., Plano, Texas, asked True North Communications, parent of incumbent Temerlin McClain, Irving, to field a team to pitch the retailer's $100 million-plus account. Penney, having decided to conduct its review in-house and without the aid of a consultant, is looking for an agency to manage its advertising creative, media planning and buying, direct marketing, promotions, and multicultural efforts. A spokeswoman said the new shop is expected to be selected by March and will be involved in "the many disciplines and facets of our business.'' The retailer will continue to have an in-house staff prepare its pre-prints and newspapers circulars, the spokeswoman said. Ad budget was undisclosed, but Penney in 1998 had $371.9 million in measured media, with $148 million spent on TV and $28 million on radio. Parts of the business not in review include Penney's private-label Arizona jeans and apparel line, with spending at $10 million in 1998, which remains at DDB Worldwide, Dallas, and St. John's Bay's apparel, worth $14 million, which will remain at Temerlin. "The client wants to effect dramatic change,'' said agency CEO-Creative director Dennis McClain. "The purpose would be defeated for us to participate in the review.

Copyright January 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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