$10M Australian retail account up for grabs

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SYDNEY -- David Jones, a major department store chain, is without an agency for its $10m account after giving Saatchi & Saatchi notice on June 6, whereupon the agency immediately terminated the relationship. Neither David Jones' recently appointed chief executive, Peter Wilkinson, nor Saatchi's managing director, Brian Shehan, would comment.

It is understood Wilkinson has talked with several Sydney agencies including Y&R Mattingly, regarded as front runner following its recent resignation of the giant Myer Grace Bros national department store business. Wilkinson has a long relationship with Y&R founder- chairman David Mattingly since the days he worked with Myer.

Saatchi won the account two years ago and established Team Saatchi to work specifically on DJ business, creating a Dalmatian dog as DJ's corporate image to symbolize the stores' houndstooth logo and "a friendlier positioning." But research found the campaign failed and the chain has been losing customers.

Wilkinson, say industry sources, is keen to get back to DJ's core affluent customer base, who have been alienated by the chain's downmarket positioning and merchandise.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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