A spokesman said the family-owned, privately held 135-year-old company hired Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., to handle the search. He declined to discuss a decision date or further details of the review.
Pubclicis Groupe's Starcom handles media-buying and -planning in North America and in some markets overseas. The agency is expected to participate in the review, an executive familiar with the matter said. Media in other parts of the world is handled on a local basis. Creative, handled by Omnicom Group's GSD&M Idea City, Austin, Texas, is not involved in the review.
Kohler spent $36.4 million in U.S. measured media in 2006 and $34.4 million for the first nine months of 2007 in the U.S., according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Although the company's sinks, toilets, tubs and showers can be purchased at big-box home-improvement retail outlets, it also sells elaborate systems such as a multimedia shower with custom music players and lighting for as much as $10,000. Kohler also has begun to open up showcase stores in Chicago and other cities to better display those goods and to court architects and designers in a bid to edge some of its products upscale.