Walmart Picks Haworth to Run Its $658 Million U.S. Media Account

Retail giant recently consolidated creative with Publicis

Retail giant Walmart has chosen Haworth Marketing + Media of Minneapolis as its new U.S. media agency of record, according to sources with direct knowledge of the matter.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story stated that Haworth would be handling media for the larger Walmart company and all of its retail properties including Sam's Wholesale Club and ecommerce unit Walmart.com. Two weeks after the story ran, a Sam's Club spokesperson clarified that Haworth will not be working on the Sam's portion of the business.

This is the latest in a series of agency changes for Walmart, which is consistently one of American's largest single advertisers.

In February, the Bentonville, Ark.,-based company dropped Publicis Groupe's MediaVest after more than eight years. Publicis effectively made up for the loss in July when Walmart ended its nearly decade-long relationship with The Martin Agency to consolidate the creative portion of its advertising business with a dedicated unit that will consist of assets falling under the larger Publicis Communications umbrella.

News of talks between Walmart and Haworth went public in April after Target dropped the agency, which had been its media partner for several decades, and moved its business to GroupM. This win facilitated the June launch of a dedicated Target unit called Team Arrow. In another related shift, Walmart hired longtime Target veteran Michael Francis to serve as its new chief marketing officer in December 2015.

While Haworth is still technically an independent agency, GroupM acquired 49 percent of the company in 2014.

According to Kantar Media, the Walmart chain spent approximately $658 million on measured media in the United States in 2015 while the Walmart parent brand, including Sam's Wholesale Club and Walmart.com, spent $902 million. These numbers are in keeping with 2014's $907 million spend.

Both Walmart and Haworth have not yet responded to multiple requests for comment regarding the decision.