$12 million Salon Chain in Review

Steve’s breakdown: Great Clips is the client and Ark Advisors is the search consultancy that’s handling the review so make sure your credentials are up to date over there!

MINNEAPOLIS, MN: Great Clips, which describes itself as the world’s largest salon brand, is in the midst of a review of its North America media buying and planning account, a spokesperson confirmed this week.

The process is being overseen by New York-based consultancy Ark Advisors.

“Great Clips, Inc. has launched a media review to support our growth strategy,” Great Clips director of communications Heather Leiferman said in a statement. “The process, managed by Ark Advisors, is already far along and is now closed to new agencies. We expect to have a media partner selected before the end of the year.”

Incumbent agency Periscope, which also formerly handled creative for the brand, was invited to participate in the review but declined. Sources with direct knowledge of the matter say holding companies and independent agencies are participating in the review but declined to name them.

“Periscope and Great Clips decided to part ways earlier this year due to creative differences,” an agency spokesperson explained in a statement. “While we were invited to participate in their recent media RFP, Periscope decided to decline.”

Another party close to the business suggested the client had been slow to shift to a more centralized, data-centric marketing model. Lisa Hake, formerly of Best Buy, joined Great Clips as vp of marketing and communications last July.

Great Clips includes more than 4,000 locations around North America and operates on a franchisee model that leaves much of the responsibility for driving foot traffic to local business managers with minimal oversight from the company’s Minneapolis, Minn., headquarters. Much of its advertising efforts focus on print and shared mail. For example, Great Clips promotions often appear in coupon packets in local newspapers.

Periscope’s creative work for the brand included last year’s “The Fall Migration” back-to-school campaign. The Minneapolis-based independent agency recently picked up work for Pemco insurance, Intuit QuickBooks and Google.

According to a source with direct knowledge of the matter, the brand spends around $55 million on measured media annually.

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