Walmart Streamlines Its PR Agency Relationships

GolinHarris Gets More Business at Expense of Cohn and Wolfe

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At the end of a quiet process aimed at consolidating its PR agency roster, Walmart is handing the bulk of consumer-focused work to Interpublic's GolinHarris.

"We recently consolidated the number of agencies supporting our Walmart U.S. merchandise and brand public-relations efforts," a spokesman told Ad Age. "We are excited to partner more closely with GolinHarris this year."

In 2009, the company reviewed and awarded various elements of its PR business to three shops: GolinHarris, WPP's Cohn and Wolfe and Omnicom's Porter Novelli. But, during this recent consolidation effort, the retailer shifted much of its consumer work from Cohn and Wolfe to GolinHarris. Cohn and Wolfe retained its work for the company's Sam's Club brand. The retail giant no longer works with Porter Novelli, so the Omnicom shop was not part of this consolidation review.

"Cohn and Wolfe helped us successfully communicate a number of Walmart U.S. programs to our customers over the years and they will continue to support areas outside of the Walmart U.S. business, including Sam's Club PR efforts," said the spokesman.

GolinHarris referred a request for comment to Walmart, while Cohn and Wolfe declined to comment.

Edelman, which supports the retail giant's corporate PR efforts, remains on the roster. The company told Ad Age that it will also continue to work with Arkansas-based shop Mitchell Communications, which was recently acquired by Dentsu.

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Contributing: Jack Neff

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