Accounts in Review: Why JCPenney Pulled the Plug on Its Media Review

Never mind.

After contacting outside shops, JCPenney this week pulled the plug on its media review and retained OMD, which has worked for the retailer since 2000. The decision came amid the exit of chief marketing officer Debra Berman, who left after just 19 months. Other executives have absorbed her responsibilities while JCP seeks a new marketing leader.

JCP's about-face surprised some review participants, particularly given that other retailers have called reviews in the past year, often changing agencies in the process. But sources said OMD hustled to meet JCP's objectives by, among other things, offering more data services—something that the agency has become know for—and reducing its fee. So, why go through the paces of a pitch if you can get what you want now? Hard to argue with that logic. JCP and OMD declined to comment.

1

Unilever: Global Media

Media spend: $5 billion
Incumbents: Mindshare, Initiative, PHD
Contenders: Incumbents, possibly others
Decision: December

2

Hershey: Creative

Media spend: $650 million
Incumbents: Arnold (traditional), Havas Worldwide (digital)
Contenders: Incumbents, undisclosed others
Completion: April

3

Sears/Kmart: Creative, Media

Media spend: $560 million
Incumbents: Sears: mcgarrybowen, Havas Worldwide, Havas Media; Kmart: FCB, Havas Media
Contenders: Teams from Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Havas, led by FCB, Leo Burnett and Havas Worldwide, respectively
Completion: May

4

JCPenney: Media

Media spend: $430 million
Incumbent: OMD
Contenders: Incumbent, others to be determined
Retained by OMD

5

U.S. Army: Creative, Media

Media spend: $180 million
Incumbents: McCann Erickson, UM
Contenders: Incumbents, undetermined others
Completion: March 2016

6

Royal Caribbean: Creative

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbent: JWT
Contenders: Incumbent, undetermined others
Completion: May

7

Scotts Miracle-Gro: Media

Media spend: $80 million
Incumbents: MEC, Active International
Contenders: MEC, Horizon Media, Zenith Media, Mediahub, Havas Media
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: March

8

Ameriprise Financial: Creative

Media spend: $40 million
Incumbent: R/GA
Contenders: McCann Erickson, FCB Garfinkel, Zimmerman Advertising, Merkley + Partners
Consultant: Pile + Co.
Completion: March