WAL-MART SHIFTS ADVERTISING STRATEGY
New Creative Resembles That of Target's
EBAY CMO BAILS; RETURNS TO WAL-MART
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WALMART.COM CHIEF NAMED CMO OF U.S. STORES
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WAL-MART NAMES JOHN FLEMING AS NEW CMO
Led Retailer's Successful Online Operations
EBAY AWARDS $70 MILLION AD ACCOUNT TO BBDO
Online Auction Site Parted With Goodby Silverstein Yesterday
Mr. Quinn’s appointment, announced during a series of meetings at Wal-Mart headquarters yesterday but not yet made public, represents a departure from the typical pedigree of a Wal-Mart marketing executive. “He is the classically trained marketer Wal-Mart needs right now,” according to one former Wal-Mart marketing insider.
In March, Bob Connolly, a career Wal-Mart insider, retired as CMO. He was replaced by John Fleming, a former marketing executive from Target Stores' department stores division who has shaken up Wal-Mart’s advertising strategy. He has toned down the everyday low prices message, an obsession with corporate reputation spots, and tried to appeal to more fashion-forward consumers.
“Wal-Mart’s eye has been off the customer and here comes this guy who is all about those mindshare wars with concept advertising. It’s fair to say this shows a bigger shift and the agencies are probably at risk,” according to the former insider. “He [Mr. Quinn] is someone who is used to hard-charging brand wars and Wal-Mart is in one right now with a stuck stock, lagging comp-sales and internal upheaval.”
Executive search firm Spencer Stuart handled the placement, but deferred questions to Frito-Lay, which also declined to comment. As CMO at Frito-Lay, Mr. Quinn oversaw a budget of $91 million in measured media spending in 2004, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
Mr. Quinn has worked with several Omnicom Group roster agencies, including BBDO Worldwide, New York, and GSD&M of Austin, Texas, which was selected in May to handle the $30 million relaunch of its Sun Chips brand. Notable is the GSD&M connection with Wal-Mart, which splits its advertising, media buying and creative duties with two agencies, GSD&M and Bernstein-Rein of Kansas City, Mo.
Mr. Quinn’s departure comes about a year after Irene Rosenfeld joined Frito Lay North America as chairman-CEO.