Home Depot Sticks With Initiative for Media

Also Hands Longtime Incumbent Digital Duties After Review

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Interpublic Group of Cos.' Initiative has significantly expanded its duties with Home Depot after a review. In addition to retaining control of traditional media-planning and -buying duties, the agency has picked up the digital, newspaper and search portions of the business, according to the retailer.

The incumbent beat out WPP's Mindshare, Aegis' Carat and Publicis Groupe's Zenith Optimedia for the traditional portion of the business. For the digital-planning and -buying duties, it prevailed over incumbent Publicis Groupe's Digitas, which defended its portion of the business. NSA/IMS defended as the incumbent for newspapers, while ResponseMine defended as the incumbent for search.

The retailer is one of Initiative's biggest and longest-running accounts. Home Depot has been with the shop since 1992. Still, the account isn't worth as much as it once was. In 2008, Home Depot spent $481 million on domestic measured media, according to TNS Media Intelligence. That's down 17% from 2007, when it spent $577 million.

Home Depot will begin a review for its sports-marketing account next, according to a spokesman. Octagon is the incumbent agency.

The reviews, all of which have been handled by Select Resources International, are part of a newly adopted procurement process that mandates a periodic review of the company's agencies. In December, the retailer said Richards Group would maintain its creative account.

Home goods have been particularly hard hit in the recession, leading the retailer to slash prices between 5% and 50% at its 2,000 stores in an effort to attract cash-strapped shoppers.

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