Eaton’s opens in-house shop

Eaton's, the department store chain representing some 100 stores across the country, has announced the creation of a full-service in-house ad agency.The company, which has earned high praise in ad agency circles for the recent television creative developed through Toronto agency...

Eaton’s, the department store chain representing some 100 stores across the country, has announced the creation of a full-service in-house ad agency.

The company, which has earned high praise in ad agency circles for the recent television creative developed through Toronto agency Bensimon/Byrne, will begin consolidating all advertising work through its own fully staffed agency.

While the announcement comes suddenly and revives memories of the on-again, off-again trend through the 1980s in which some major advertisers tested the concept of in-house agencies, the groundwork has been laid at Eaton’s ever since the arrival more than two years ago of Darcia Joseph as Eaton’s vice-president of marketing.

Joseph came to Eaton’s from a senior account position with now-defunct ad agency Miller Myers Bruce DallaCosta.

Joseph takes great pains to stress the decision to go in-house does not reflect dissatisfaction with Bensimon/Byrne, which handled tv and radio advertising.

In fact, Joseph says the shop’s work ‘has been outstanding.’

However, Eaton’s states: ‘The creation of a fully integrated in-house agency is just the latest step in the overall improvement of Eaton’s marketing capabilities.’

Some of the key people staffing the agency are: Pam Frostad, heading creative; Daryl Aitken, overseeing strategic and management issues relating to marketing, and Kevin Kennedy, who heads consumer promotions.

Frostad served stints at Vickers & Benson Advertising and Leo Burnett, Aitken was in account management at Ogilvy & Mather. Media Buying Services retains the media buying assignment for Eaton’s.