"As normal practice of periodic agency reviews, Macy's is conducting a review of its media account currently handled by MEC," said a Macy's spokeswoman. "This is not triggered by dissatisfaction with MEC, a valued partner of Macy's ."
MEC did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But a loss of this size would strike a blow to the incumbent, which lost a number of large accounts in 2011, including Novartis, Pizza Hut and Toys 'R Us. The shop also parted ways with Activision in the U.S. even as it retained some of the account globally. MEC also recently picked up the Marriott business.
Late last year, MEC named Marla Kaplowitz its new CEO in North America, replacing Lee Doyle. Mr. Doyle now serves as president-client development at WPP sibling Mindshare.
MEC picked up the Macy's business from Starcom in 2007. That same year the department-store retailer's chief marketing officer departed and the company changed its name to Macy's Inc. following the 2005 merger between Federated Department Stores and May Company.
Peter Sachse, who has led Macy's marketing at various points since 2003, including when the business shifted from MEC to Starcom, recently became chief stores officer. Martine Reardon took on the CMO role following Mr. Sachse's move.
JWT has served as the department store's creative agency since 2006, and will remain in that role. "JWT is and continues to be Macy's valued agency partner," the Macy's spokeswoman said.
Joanne Davis Consulting is supporting the review.
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Contributing: Natalie Zmuda