Sears fires Focus Media

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Sears, Roebuck & Co. fired Focus Media on March 14 after filing a lawsuit charging the media buyer with damages resulting from millions of dollars in media payments, some dating as far back as November, that Focus has not made. MindShare USA, New York and Chicago, media arm of one of Sears' creative agencies, Ogilvy & Mather, has picked up the majority of the $200 million in Sears billings previously at Focus. Before the assignment, O&M--a partner in MindShare--handled only network TV and national radio buying for Sears. MindShare now also handles cable, syndication, unwired networks, spot TV, spot radio and network radio buys for the retailer. Bravo Group, a sibling of Sears' other creative agency, Y&R Advertising, New York, adds buying for Hispanic broadcast from Focus. Previously, Bravo handled Hispanic print buying only. A Sears spokeswoman said the company wouldn't comment on the pending litigation, but said it was acting "to preserve our broadcast schedules.''

Copyright March 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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