Bernstein Agency Cut From Wal-Mart $570 Million Ad Review

Move Ends 32-Year Relationship; Five Shops Remain in Running, Including GSD&M

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Wal-Mart Stores has narrowed contenders in the review for its $570 million creative account, and one incumbent has survived the cut, according to executives close to the review.
The Bernstein Rein agency of Kansas City, Mo., which has been doing ad work for Wal-Mart for 32 years, has been cut from the retail giant's review.
The Bernstein Rein agency of Kansas City, Mo., which has been doing ad work for Wal-Mart for 32 years, has been cut from the retail giant's review.

Contenders
One of the retailer's incumbent agencies, Omnicom Group's GSD&M, Austin, Texas, is still in the review, along with WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather, New York; Publicis Groupe's Saatchi & Saatchi, New York; and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., and Draft FCB Group, Chicago.

Those agencies which didn't make it to the next round are MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, New York, Publicis Groupe's Publicis USA and Leo Burnett, Chicago, and WPP's JWT.

Bernstein out
The retail giant's other incumbent, independent Bernstein Rein, Kansas City, Mo., has been cut from the review. The agency today released a statement via e-mail confirming it is ending its 32-year partnership with Wal-Mart as of Jan. 31, 2007.

Robert Bernstein, the agency's president-CEO, in the statement said, "We're very proud of our long partnership and what it has accomplished, something unprecedented in business history -- helping a small, regional chain become the world's largest retailer."

The other shops in the review declined to comment and referred calls to the marketer. Wal-Mart spokeswoman Gail Lavielle declined to comment on the review. Review consultant Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., did not return calls at press time.
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