16. Tom Taylor

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AD BUDGET: $1.26 billion

AGENCIES INCLUDE: Interpublic's Initiative Media Worldwide, Atlanta. Omnicom's DDB, Chicago. WPP's UniWorld, Atlanta. Richards Group, Dallas. Vidal Partnership, N.Y.

POWER PLAY: Tom Taylor, marketing legend John Costello's replacement, is a 22-year Home Depot veteran. The appointment of Mr. Taylor, 39, was touted as a move to bring to the role decades of insider experience, an executive steeped in the chain's merchandising and marketing strategies. But can a veteran do a better job than an outsider in figuring out the marketing formula needed to stem market share losses? The $73 billion Home Depot has failed to find the right positioning against faster-growing rival Lowe's. And then there's Wal-Mart, grabbing share from Home Depot, too. Home Depot says the "You can do it. We can help" campaign will continue and no significant changes are planned.

DOWNSIDE: If even Mr. Costello could only help Home Depot hold its ground, can Mr. Taylor come up with a repositioning distinctive enough to give the chain the edge it needs over Lowe's? The competition appears to be poised to turn up the heat. Last month, Lowe's moved its $315 million account to BBDO and OMD, which will likely come out energized and swinging.

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