Home Depot Moves Digital, CRM Duties to MRM Worldwide

Account Move Is Another Loss for Incumbent Digitas

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Home Depot is moving its digital and CRM accounts to MRM Worldwide, New York.

Digitas was the incumbent on the CRM account, while Engauge was the incumbent on the digital business. Wunderman, Rapp, Huge and Engauge also pursued Home Depot's account, according to executives familiar with the review. Select Resources International conducted the agency review for the retailer.

This marks the second account that Publicis Groupe's Digitas has lost to MRM, a unit of McCann Worldgroup and part of Interpublic Group of Cos., in the last two months. In November, General Motors moved its U.S. digital production duties to MRM Worldwide's MRM Supply from the Digitas-owned production shop Prodigious Worldwide, as part of a cost-savings effort by the carmaker. Also in November, Digitas lost digital duties for Wrigley and IBM.

Seth Solomons, global CMO at Digitas, downplayed the loss, however, noting that it was a relatively small relationship for the agency. "We were happy to be one of two finalists and sad to be eliminated," he said. "But it does allow us to go after retail in a more significant way."

MRM's New York office, which is led by Corey Mitchell, managing director, recently won several assignments for Diageo, as well as business from Walmart, though it had to relinquish that assignment in order to pursue Home Depot, according to executives. MRM counts Dell, ExxonMobil, L'Oreal, Nestle and Verizon among its clients.

A spokeswoman for MRM referred calls to the client. A Home Depot spokeswoman confirmed the win and said that the retailer has not worked with MRM before.

Home Depot spent $480 million in measured media in 2008, according to TNS Media Intelligence, along with $11 million in measured U.S. internet spending. For the first nine months of 2009, the retailer spent $7 million in measured U.S. internet media.

Home Depot has been scrutinizing its entire agency roster over the last 18 months, as part of a move to regularly review its agency relationships. Next, it plans to conduct a review of its Hispanic agency. Vidal Partnership is the incumbent on that account.

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