Ace Is the Place for an Agency Review

Mars Advertising Is Incumbent on Home-Improvement Retailer's $40-$50 Million Account

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Ace Hardware is reviewing creative duties on its estimated $40 million to $50 million advertising account, handled by shopper-marketing agency Mars Advertising.

Representatives for the incumbent, which last week announced an alliance with WPP's Y&R, referred calls to the client. A spokesman for Oak Brook, Ill.-based Ace confirmed the review, noting that it does not affect Ace's media agency, Horizon, but the retailer declined to comment further.

The marketer operates under an owner-operated model and has some 4,600 stores in 50 states and 60 countries. Key competitors in the space include Home Depot, which also has been conducting a series of reviews of its marketing partners, Lowe's and Walmart.

Ace has previously worked with Omnicom Group's Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Interpublic Group of Cos.' Campbell Mithun.

The retailer spent $43 million on domestic measured media last year, up from $36 million in 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence. Despite a difficult economy that has been particularly challenging for the housing sector, Ace has managed to keep profits flat, last month reporting net income of $86 million for the fiscal year, compared to $87 million in the year-prior period.

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