Federated Taps Mediaedge:cia

Shift of $200 mil Biz Could Signal More Changes Ahead

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Federated department Stores, trying to pull off one of the largest reorganizations of a national department-store chain in history, has replaced the media agency on its $200 million-plus account-and that may not be the end of the changes.

Federated dumped Publicis Groupe's Starcom without a review and moved media to WPP Groupe's Mediaedge:cia. Mediaedge handled for more than five years Citigroup, the company from which Federated's new chief marketing officer, Anne MacDonald, hails. Ms. MacDonald's No. 2, Brad Jakeman, exec VP-creative strategy, Macy's, is also a Citigroup vet. The media shift has some pundits wondering whether a change could be afoot on the creative side, too. The account is currently held on a project basis by WPP's JWT, Chicago.

Neither Ms. MacDonald nor Mr. Jakeman would comment on the agency changes, but a Federated spokesman said of the media switch that Mediaedge:cia's experience and resources are "better suited" to the retailer's needs in the future.

At Citibank, Ms. MacDonald and Mr. Jakeman emphasized a consumer-centric message, a tactic they're also employing at Federated. But the challenge with Federated is complicated by two issues: a general shift by consumers away from department stores and Federated's decision to abandon much-loved brands such as Marshall Field's.

"Brad works with people he knows and trusts," said one executive who has worked with Mr. Jakeman. "It's not about friends; it is about delivering."
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