Best Buy issues RFP for consolidated holiday work

MINNEAPOLIS: Best Buy has issued an RFP that would consolidate, and expand, the agency PR work around its two holiday campaigns.

MINNEAPOLIS: Best Buy has issued an RFP that would consolidate, and expand, the agency PR work around its two holiday campaigns.

Susan Busch, senior director of PR for Best Buy, told PRWeek via e-mail the retailer is combining its two holiday campaigns into one integrated effort with two separate activations. She attributes the decision to fiercer retail competition, the changing media landscape, and the global economy.

For the past five years, the retailer has managed its holiday campaign in two parts. MS&L worked on the Best Buy brand and Ketchum handled work around the Geek Squad business. She said both agencies “have done solid work and delivered impressive results.”

“The mandate [for the RFP] will be for both brands and will include both the US and Canada, signifying our shift to increasingly operating as a global company,” Busch noted.

Both agencies will continue to do ongoing work on their pieces of the business, Ketchum on Geek Squad and MS&L on the Best Buy brand.

"The RFP consolidates and expands the scope of work for our holiday program only," she said. "It impacts no other scopes of work."

Best Buy's current incumbent agencies – MS&L, Ketchum, and Weber Shandwick – are expected to participate in the pitch, in addition to “a small number” of additional agencies, Busch said. She declined to name the other agencies involved.

WS works on the retailer's CSR work, primarily for its @15 philanthropic platform focused on teens and sustainability.

MS&L, Ketchum, and WS did not immediately respond to calls for comment.

Busch said the holiday season is “one of the most critical times of execution and we want to ensure that we continue to deliver on the creative and strategic programming for which we are known.”

The winning agency will support the communications programs developed by Best Buy's in-house team, she added. She declined to disclose the budget.

The company expects to make a decision by the end of April and to be engaged with the new agency in May.

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