MediaVest was involved in the pitch, begun in May, that ended with the October selection of Interpublic Group of Cos.' DraftFCB and Aegis Group's Carat. That decision was scuttled earlier this month after Wal-Mart management ousted Julie Roehm, the marketing executive who led the review, and reopened the competition. Carat was invited to participate; DraftFCB was not.
Partnered with Saatchi
MediaVest had partnered with Publicis sibling Saatchi & Saatchi and made it to a short list of competitors. But Saatchi in late August decided to opt out of the review, forcing MediaVest to exit as well. (Saatchi, shortly after departing Wal-Mart's review, announced it had won creative duties for retailer JC Penney, a Wal-Mart competitor.)
Calls to MediaVest were referred to Wal-Mart. A Wal-Mart spokeswoman did not return a call for comment at press time.
In addition to MediaVest, media agencies Mediaedge:cia and Carat are involved in the review; on the creative side, contenders are WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and Interpublic's Martin Agency. All agencies are pitching independently, according to executives familiar with the matter.