"Gap is still doing much of our media planning work internally as we've done for years," said Gap spokeswoman Erica Archambault. "What we are looking for is a media-planning partner to offer strategic consulting to our in-house media-planning team." Grace Wong, senior media director, is leading the review.
Parted with Starcom
Gap has most recently worked with Publicis Groupe's Starcom, but "we parted ways earlier this year due to competitive conflicts," said Ms. Archambault. In February, Starcom won the $200 million media planning and buying business for Macy's, a unit of Federated Department Stores.
Contenders in the current review, according to the company, include Omnicom's PhD (which currently buys TV for Gap brands); Aegis Group's Carat; Publicis Groupe's Starlink; independent Palisades Media Group; and WPP's MediaEdge:CIA. Havas' MPG received an invite but declined to participate because of an existing relationship.
The spokeswoman declined to comment on the size of the account. Gap in 2005 spent $96 million in media on its main and sub-brands, according to TNS Media Intelligence.