Ace Hardware is in the early stages of a procurement-led search for a creative agency and is reaching out to shops, according to people familiar with the matter.
Omnicom's GSD&M has been the hardware company's lead agency since it won the account in May 2009. It's not clear whether GSD&M will participate in the review; the agency declined to comment. Ace Hardware could not immediately be reached for comment.
Ace has recently put an emphasis on the paint category. Interpublic's FCB worked on the rollout of Ace's new paint department, an effort between Ace and Valspar, with a May campaign called "Helpful is beautiful." Valspar is an FCB client.
It's believed that media services, handled by Publicis Groupe's Spark, is not part fo the review. Spark won that account in 2013.
Ace Hardware Corp. has not released its fourth quarter and full-year 2014 earnings yet, but in the third quarter the company had about 4,200 retail locations, primarily in the U.S. The company reported a same-store sales increase of 1.3% for its retail operations in the third quarter.
Ace in the first 10 months of 2014 spent about $58.7 million on U.S. measured media, according to Kantar Media. In 2013 it spent $52 million and in 2012 it spent $46.6 million.