Chiat the victor in Shoppers review

It was a long hot summer but well worth the wait for Chiat/Day.The Toronto ad agency won the coveted $20-million Shoppers Drug Mart account, the culmination of a review started this past May.Runner-up was incumbent of 27 years, Kert Advertising of...

It was a long hot summer but well worth the wait for Chiat/Day.

The Toronto ad agency won the coveted $20-million Shoppers Drug Mart account, the culmination of a review started this past May.

Runner-up was incumbent of 27 years, Kert Advertising of Toronto.

Kert will continue to handle the business until Chiat/Day takes over May 1, 1994.

JWT withdrew

Other Toronto agencies under consideration by Shoppers included J. Walter Thompson, which withdrew part way through the race citing conflict of interest.

Ogilvy & Mather, Doner Schur Peppler and Vickers & Benson were later eliminated, and since mid-September it has been a waiting game for Kert and Chiat/Day.

In the same private manner with which the review was conducted, Shoppers issued a short release that credited Kert’s excellent campaigns for helping the retail chain grow and develop during its 27-year tenure.

Of the winner, it stated:

‘Chiat/Day presented us with a comprehensive communications strategy and the most exciting and imaginative campaign that would suit our needs for the balance of this decade.’

Norm Kert, chairman and chief executive officer of the incumbent agency, says that when he first heard the bad news, ‘I felt terrible, then it turned to gratitude for being able to work on the account for 27 years.

‘It’s a fabulous company and they’ve always treated us well,’ Kert says. ‘It’s been a big part of my business life.’

Kert layoffs

Kert says the agency still has a strong nucleus of accounts to build on, but that loss of the cornerstone account will mean layoffs.

The assignment for Shoppers’ Pharmaprix Division in Quebec remains with PNMD/Publitel of Montreal.

Shoppers handles its $40-million flyer business in-house.

Shoppers Drug Mart is Canada’s largest retail drug store chain with 700 stores across the country and annual sales of more than $3 billion.