Office Depot gets new ad agency, still without CEO

BOCA RATON, Fla. -- Office Depot didn’t have to look far in its search for a new agency of record, as the Boca Raton, Fla.-based office supplies and services company announced the selection of Fort Lauderdale-based Zimmerman Advertising.

“We are impressed by Zimmerman’s strong understanding of the retail sector as well as their ability to turn marketing challenges into sales results,” said Neil Austrian, Office Depot’s interim chairman and CEO. “Zimmerman lives and breathes retail. This expertise combined with web and direct marketing know-how will play an important role in helping Office Depot meet our business objectives.”

Zimmerman Advertising is the nation’s 14th largest advertising agency and part of the Omnicom Group.

“Our mission is to help Office Depot more effectively reach and impact consumers during what continues to be a challenging economy for its core target of small and medium-size businesses,” said Michael Goldberg, Zimmerman’s EVP and chief marketing officer. “Office Depot is a world-class brand and we believe there is so much potential in helping to reestablish its place in the minds of today's consumers.”

It has been a rough couple of years for Office Depot, as a weak economy took a toll of sales and profits. Last fall amid deteriorating results, the company announced the departure of Steve Odland as chairman and CEO and a search for a replacement is now in its six month, with Austrian continuing to serve in an interim capacity. Most recently, the company stumbled when the Internal Revenue Service determined some losses were improperly accounted for, which forced the company to restate financial results that turned a meager 2010 profit of $33 million into a $46 million loss.

Zimmerman thinks it can help turn around the company’s fortunes.

“The primary reason for our retail success is our intense understanding of what triggers human beings to take action, and how those feelings translate to purchase behavior,” said Jordan Zimmerman, founder and chairman of Zimmerman Advertising. “As part of our insane work ethic, we will not rest until we help Office Depot lead the industry.”