Office Depot Holds Cross-Agency Review Less Than a Year After OfficeMax Merger

Office Depot and OfficeMax Merged Last November Under Office Depot Brand

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Office Depot, the product of the Office Depot and OfficeMax merger last November, is conducting a cross-agency review, according to people familiar with the matter.

Pile and Company is supporting the search, which will evaluate agency relationships across disciplines such as creative and media.

"Office Depot routinely evaluates relationships with service vendors and we do not disclose the specifics of those evaluations," said an Office Depot spokeswoman in an e-mail. Pile referred calls to the client.

The combined Office Depot group, based in Boca Raton, Fla., spent $105 million on U.S. measured media in 2013, including OfficeMax's $34.8 million. It ended the first quarter of this year with 1,900 retail stores in its North American Retail Division, including 1,082 Office Depot and 818 OfficeMax locations.

Both retailers have been staple clients for Omnicom Group agencies since at least 2001, when BBDO won Office Depot. Two years later, DDB won the OfficeMax creative account and OMD won media duties for Office Depot.

Fort Lauderdale-based agency Zimmerman, also part of Omnicom, is now the incumbent on the Office Depot brand, handling strategy, creative, production and integrated media planning and buying.

"Office Depot has seen some dramatic change of late, and this is just business as usual," said a Zimmerman spokeswoman. "Zimmerman Advertising is proud of the work our companies have done together, and we are confident that our successful partnership will continue."

OfficeMax was the first client for The Escape Pod in Chicago when the agency opened its doors in 2007, but the brand stopped working with the shop at least a year ago. Escape Pod was behind the "Penny Pranks" campaign and video, in which a guy tries to pay for his meal at a restaurant with a bag full of pennies.

Toy NY and Omnicom's EVB were also responsible for a popular Office Max holiday campaign dubbed "Elf Yourself." The initiative let users upload their faces and others to appear on dancing elves in customized e-cards. Toy has since closed.

Last November, the companies announced that they would use the name Office Depot Inc. and trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol ODP. At the time, the new company announced combined revenue in the 12 months that ended September 28, 2013, of approximately $17 billion.

In May it said it planned to close 400 locations in the United States by the end of 2016.

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