A little over two months ago PRNewser heard that Golin-Harris, Weber Shandwick, Cohn and Wolfe and Taylor were finalists for the Walmart PR business, which it was said would encompass multiple agencies.
Two out of the four names were right, as today news broke that Golin Harris, Cohn & Wolfe and Porter Novelli were each chosen for separate parts of the massive account. Advertising Age‘s Michael Bush broke the story.
The win is especially big for Porter Novelli, whose chairman, Helen Ostrowski, stepped down at the beginning of the year. The agency has been relatively quiet on the new-business front and in 2008 there were numerous reports of layoffs in addition to the loss of two significant accounts, Humana and the American Cancer Society, both of which it chose not to defend and were rumored to be seven-figure contracts.
None of Bush’s sources would speak to him on the record, which is not necessarily unusual with an account win of this size, as agencies and the end client are extremely careful with all communications. However it does lead us to guess that the selection process was finalized very recently, possibly today.