J.C. Penney Decides Against Media Review After All, Sticks With OMD

Decision Comes as CMO Debra Berman Departs Company

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J.C. Penney's media business, which is currently at Omnicom's OMD, is no longer in play, the company confirmed.

Last fall, the retailer set the wheels in motion for a potential media agency review, according to executives familiar with the matter. But the company had been quiet since, creating speculation about whether the review was a go.

OMD, which referred calls to the client, has worked with J.C. Penney for 10 years. The Omnicom media agency giant managed to keep the business through changes including the retailer's tumultuous brand revamp and several CMO and CEO shifts.

The latest change came this week, with news of the departure of Debra Berman, J.C. Penney's chief marketing officer. Until a replacement is named, Kirk Waidelich, VP-marketing strategy, will oversee customer strategy, media and marketing integration, while Lynne Bartron, VP-marketing strategy, will oversee creative, production and operations, publicity and partnerships, a J.C. Penney spokeswoman said.

J.C. Penney spent $923 million on U.S. advertising in 2013. Unmeasured media spending increased 15% to $492 million, while measured media spending decreased 15% to $431 million, according to the Ad Age DataCenter's latest available spending data.

Contributing: Ashley Rodriguez

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