Kohl's Has Hired Weber Shandwick as its New PR Agency

The Move Brings Kohl's PR and Creative Under Same Holding Company, Interpublic Group

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Kohl's has hired Interpublic Group of Cos' Weber Shandwick to handle public relations following a review.

Previously, Kohl's has worked with a handful of PR shops on various projects, including Cramer-Krasselt and BWR.

The agencies either declined to comment or referred calls to the client, while Kohl's didn't respond to requests for comment.

The move brings Kohl's PR and creative under the same roof, since Weber Shandwick's sibling shop McCann Erickson currently supports creative projects for the retailer.

But bringing all of the retailer's marketing services under one roof was not the goal if the recent media agency shift is any indication. Publicis Groupe's Zenith won Kohl's media buying and planning account from IPG's UM in March this year, after the company put the business up for review in late 2012. Santa Monica, Calif.-based consultancy Select Resources International supported that media agency review.

The move comes as the company is grappling with changes in its marketing suite. Late last year, it saw the departure of Chief Marketing Officer Julie Gardner. Months later, Kohl's CEO Kevin Mansell said during the company's earnings call that it plans to significantly increase TV and digital investment while focusing on targeting moms, particularly in the 35- to 54-year-old age group.

The retailer has not yet named a new CMO. But Starbucks vet Michelle Gass joined Kohl's in May in the newly-created role of chief customer officer.

In 2012, the company spent $356.5 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media. That's a slight bump up from the $332.8 it spent in the U.S. in 2011. According to Ad Age's DataCenter, Kohl's is the 29th-largest advertiser in the U.S., having spent $1.12 billion on total marketing and promotions in the U.S. The company had increased its total spending in 2011 by 10.4%, up from $1.02 billion in 2010.

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