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The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Kroger is taking a big step in its approach to advertising, conducting a search for an outside agency of record that would “oversee the company’s marketing efforts such as brand strategy and handle interactive media and digital marketing as well as buy advertising time and space.”

The story says that this would be the first time that Kroger, founded in 1883, has ever hired a creative agency of record; it also goes against the current trend of companies bringing creative work in-house.

Mandy Rassi, Kroger’s head of brand building, tells Ad Week the company hopes an outside agency “can come in and push us out of our comfort zone and help us transform this iconic brand in a way that’s true to our roots but that is extremely relevant to customers in culture today.”
KC's View:
I think it is smart sometimes to create mechanisms through which creative people can push companies beyond their comfort zones, even if - in fact, especially if - you haven’t done it for 136 years. I think it will be interesting to see which agency Kroger picks…I’d be thinking about a boutique shop with a record for producing groundbreaking and attention-getting campaigns.