What:Publicis Groupe’s Starcom MediaVest has lost Walmart, one of its largest North American accounts worth an estimated US$900 million a year. “We are taking a different direction and looking for new ways to use media to connect with our customers.”, a Walmart spokesperson said.
Why it matters: Walmart recently moved to manage its digital media in-house, creating it’s own exchange called Walmart Exchange. In 2015, MediaVest lost two other major clients: Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola’s North American accounts.
The Walmart account is worth an estimated US$900 million a year. In 2015, the retailer invested US$401.5 million in media.
It is still uncertain which agency has won the account or if there will be a formal review. “We are taking a different direction and looking for new ways to use media to connect with our customers.”, a Walmart spokesperson said. Walmart recently moved to manage its digital media in-house, creating it’s own exchange called Walmart Exchange.
The decision to split with Starcom MediaVest comes shortly after Walmart’s CFO Stephen Quinn has stepped down from the company. Quinn has been replaced by Tony Rogers, who has taken over earlier this month.
It remains unclear what the retailer’s new approach will look like. A Walmart spokesperson said: “We have made the decision to end our relationship with MediaVest. We thank them for their strong partnership over the past nine years.
In 2015, the retailer invested US$401.5 million in media.
“We will continue to work with Mediavest during the transition,” said a Walmart spokeswoman.
“We continue to partner with Walmart as they transition to their new model and wish them the best in their future direction,” said a Mediavest spokeswoman.
These are hard times for Publicis Groupe. Last December, Mediavest lost Procter & Gamble’s North America account against rival Omnicom following a competitive pitch.
In addition, the network lost North American media duties for Coca-Cola, another major client, in the same year.
Mediavest had been awarded Walmart North American account in January 2007. The creative account went to Interpublic Group’s Martin Agency. Digital buying was brought in-house in recent years, as the retailer invested in its own digital targeting, buying and optimization platform, called Walmart Exchange, according to Adage.
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