Petsmart Launches Review for Creative Agency

Pet-Products Retailer Loses CMO, Sees Sales Dip

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Petsmart is launching a review for its creative account.

The pet-products retailer, which has been handling creative in-house for the last few years, began reaching out to agencies last week, according to executives familiar with the matter. Its last creative agency was Bernstein-Rein, an independent in Kansas City, Mo., which handled the business until it was brought in-house around 2012.

OMD in April picked up Petsmart's media account following the bankruptcy of its previous media shop, KSL Media. Consultancy Mercer Island is fielding the review process.

Petsmart did not respond to a request for comment. The company has also gone through some changes in its marketing department recently and appears to be without a chief marketing officer following the departure of former CMO John Alpaugh in June to become CEO of CyberMark International.

Petsmart has nearly 1,300 stores and spent nearly $105 million on U.S. measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media, up from about $94 million in 2012. The company's most recent earnings show a 0.6% decline in first quarter same-store sales. In 2013, sales were up 2.7% and 2012's same- store sales were up 6.4%, though 2012's results included 52 weeks.

Of the company's first-quarter results, President-CEO David Lenhardt said in May that "we know there is work to be done" in order to bring in better sales results. He noted that the company moving forward will be "focused on driving our consumable sales and are pursuing a more powerful and effective marketing plan and in-store execution that emphasizes the value and breadth of our consumables offerings." He said the company will also improve its efforts to capture online customers.

Mr. Lenhardt said at the time that the company will be "launching an inspirational and engaging brand campaign to differentiate PetSmart and elevate how the consumer relates to the PetSmart brand," though he did not elaborate on when that will be or what agency will handle it.

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