Y&R and retailer Myer-Grace Bros. split; $80m up for grabs

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MELBOURNE -- Major national retailer Myer Grace Bros and Young & Rubicam Mattingly here will end their 26-year relationship on July 31 after failing to agree on "appropriate remuneration" for the $40m summer catalogue/print advertising account, the two companies said.

As a temporary measure, Myer is moving its six-month spring and summer (August through December) catalogue/print business to specialist retail agency AdTown. Later this year, Myer will call tenders for the annual business, worth $80m-plus, to start in January.

"We intend to refocus our future needs and requirements for all elements of our marketing, from the parent Myer Grace Bros. brand to sub-brands like Myer Electric and Myer Sport," says Neil McKay, group general manager, marketing and store development.

Last week Y&R Mattingly won the $18m Vox Group national retailing business and indicated that a restructure at Myer would affect its volume print assignments. "We parted company on good terms," says David Minear, the agency's group chief executive."Our difference over compensation is the sole reason this decision has been made." Minear says the agency and the Myer-Grace Bros. teams would work toward a smooth transition of the account to a new agency. Myer-Grace Bros. will appoint a new agency at some time in the near future.

Copyright May 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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