Best Buy adds CHI, Wunderman to its roster

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After more than a six-month long agency review process, Best Buy has added CHI & Partners and Wunderman to its lineup of lead agencies, said Best Buy PR representative Lisa Hawks.

The two agencies will be linked under a single entity to be called CHI/Wunderman, according to Best Buy. Roughly 100 people will be hired globally to service the partnership. CHI and Wunderman are both WPP agencies.

The group will focus on digital as one of its marketing priorities, said Stuart Pearson, chief client officer at Wunderman. CHI/Wunderman will also develop social programs, weekly promotions and Best Buy business unit campaigns. The pitch and selection process was handled by Best Buy's procurement department.

Though Pearson said the newly formed group is still working out a precise timeline for launch, it will be starting work in the first quarter of 2012.

The partnership will be similar to Team Detroit through which several WPP teams came together to handle auto accounts for Mazda, Ford and Team Lincoln, which Andrew Sexton, VP and director of North American Media Relations at Wunderman, said is an example of a “another wonderful alliance.” As another example, Pearson pointed out work done by Wunderman shops for Microsoft in Seattle, where KBMG and Blast Radius team up on campaigns.

The new alliance will only affect Best Buy's other lead agencies – among them, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, Razorfish and Starcom – in a spirit of collaboration, said Pearson.

“As with all our clients, we will work closely with all partners to best serve our clients. We are always operating in a multi-agency environment, and frankly, we take pride in our ability to partner with other agencies,” Pearson said. “But ultimately, the client will set the tone and the cadence of the relationship.”

This story was first reported by AdAge.

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