Walmart Taps Publicis & Hal Riney for Great Value Brand

Chain Plans to Relaunch Private-Label Line

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NEW YORK ( -- Walmart has expanded its agency roster, tapping West Coast shop Publicis & Hal Riney to refresh the retailer's Great Value brand, according to industry executives.

The San Francisco-based agency won the assignment after a review that included a mix of agencies from holding companies and indie shops, executives said. Publicis & Hal Riney will provide creative and strategic ideas on Great Value, Walmart's wide-ranging house brand.

The relaunch of Great Value, announced last year, promises a package redesign that will showcase more appetizing food photography, plus product improvements in categories such as cold cereal, cookies and yogurt. "We aren't just dressing up the outside, we have also worked hard on what we are putting inside," Andrea Thomas, senior VP-private brands, said last fall at an analyst conference.

Walmart has been ramping up its private-label program, an area of its business in which it has refocused efforts to cater to consumers seeking low-cost options in a down economy.

At Publicis & Hal Riney, Walmart joins a marketng roster that includes Beam Global Spirits, U.S. Cellular and SanDisk.

Martin Agency won't be affected
The assignment won't affect Interpublic Group of Cos.' Martin Agency, which handles creative work for the Walmart brand, its in-store network and the corporate-affairs account. Martin created Walmart's successful "Save Money. Live Better" repositioning. Mediavest is Walmart's media agency.

Agency representatives referred calls to Walmart. A Walmart spokeswoman said executives could not immediately be reached for comment.

Over the past several months, the world's biggest retailer has been busy talking to shops about expanding its roster to include new agencies that can concentrate on under-marketed areas of its business and work on new assignments.

Walmart is said to be close to wrapping a pitch for digital work, in which Interpublic agencies R/GA and MRM are the finalists.

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Contributing: Jack Neff

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