$580 Million Wal-Mart Accounts Go to Martin Agency and MediaVest

GlobalHue Picks Up African-American Portion of Multicultural Business

By Published on .

NEW YORK (Adage.com) -- Wal-Mart has awarded its $580 million creative and media account to the Martin Agency and MediaVest, according to executives familiar with the situation.
The decision ends a re-do review process that began in December.
The decision ends a re-do review process that began in December.

GlobalHue, Southfield, Mich., has won the African-American portion of the retailer's multicultural account and Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston, retains the Hispanic portion.

The decision should conclude an embarrassing saga for the retailer that began with the high-profile ouster of Julie Roehm, senior VP-marketing communications, in December.

The review was called following an earlier agency search that resulted in Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB and Aegis Group's Carat winning the business in November. Just a month later, Wal-Mart threw the account back into play, a move the company hasn't fully explained, although executives familiar with both companies say that Ms. Roehm's behavior during the search, including her attendance at a DraftFCB-sponsored dinner for agency consultants, tainted the process and forced the do-over. (Ms. Roehm has repeatedly denied that she violated any Wal-Mart ethical policies.)

In the creative portion of the second review, Interpublic's Martin Agency faced off against WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather. In the media review, Carat went up against Publicis Groupe's MediaVest and WPP's Mediaedge:cia. All except MediaVest were finalists in the initial review.

The winners will have to ramp up quickly to take on a massive business. Wal-Mart's contracts with the two incumbents, Omnicom Group's GSD&M and independent Bernstein-Rein lapse at the end of the month. GSD&M was invited to repitch, but it declined. Bernstein-Rein was eliminated before the final round.

The review was managed by consultancy Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif.

Still undecided in the multicultural review is the winner of the Asian-American account.
Most Popular