Julie Gardner, exec VP-chief marketing officer at Kohl's, confirmed the search and told Ad Age in a statement: "We are focused on continuing to create the high-quality marketing work for which we are known in the industry. To do so, we rely on a roster of agencies as an extension of our talented internal team. We are currently conducting a search for a strategic addition to that team. "
The request for information sent to agencies indicates the retailer is looking for an agency to develop strategy for the Kohl's brand, according to people familiar with the matter. Creative, which is at Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann Erickson New York, isn't currently affected by the move. Consultancy SRI is handling the process.
Although McCann is said to be in the clear for now, Kohl's has been enlisting help from DeVito Verdi in New York, illustrating that the retailer has searched beyond its main agency for creative.
Kohl's is the 29th-largest advertiser in the U.S., according to Ad Age 's DataCenter, having spent an estimated $1.12 billion last year on marketing. Of that total, $331.3 million was measured media, according to Kantar Media.
Contributing: Natalie Zmuda