Sears' $780 Million Media Business Up for Grabs

Incumbents MindShare and MEC Interaction Will Defend

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Citing the need to "improve efficiency and effectiveness," Sears Holding Corp. is calling a review of its $780 million media-buying and -planning account, a spokesman for the retailer said today.
Sears Holdings spent $780 million on media buying and planning in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Sears Holdings spent $780 million on media buying and planning in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence.

The review includes the media business for both retailers owned by Sears Holding: Sears Roebuck & Co. and Kmart. Planning and buying in both traditional media and online are up for grabs. Current agencies MindShare and MEC Interaction, both owned by WPP Group, are participating in the review, according to the spokesman.

Decision in second quarter
"Sears Holdings continues to look for ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all aspects of our business. Last year in June we consolidated our media-planning and -buying services from two agencies to one," the retailer said in a statement issued by the spokesman. "We hope to conclude this sometime in the second quarter."

Sears Holdings spent $780 million in 2006, according to TNS Media Intelligence. WPP's Y&R, Chicago, is Sears' creative agency; Grey handles Kmart.

MindShare won all of Sears' traditional media buying and planning in 2000. MEC started as its interactive agency in 2002. Last June, Sears Holdings moved Kmart's media-buying and -planning account from WPP's MediaCom to MindShare.

Sears declined to name the consultant hired to conduct the agency review.

Brooke Capps contributed to this report.
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