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JCPenney Reviews Its Media Business After More Than a Decade With OMD

Retailer spent nearly $430 million in media last year

Retailer plans to issue questionnaires to interested shops next week. Photo: Getty Images

Longtime JCPenney media agency OMD is expected to defend in the retailer's review of its media account, according to sources.

The brand's media spending approached $430 million last year, down from more than $500 million in 2012, according to Kantar Media.

OMD, a unit of Omnicom Group, has handled media planning and buying since 2000. And while the retailer has changed lead creative agencies four times since then, it has remained with OMD throughout. So, by that measure, this incumbent's odds of hanging on may be better than the usual 10 percent.

OMD referred calls to the Plano, Texas-based Penney, which declined to comment. But sources said that the company plans to distribute initial questionnaires to interested agencies next week.

Not in play are lead creative responsibilities, which remain at Doner in Southfield, Mich. Doner has worked on the brand since last fall.

Penney marketing chief Debra Berman managed the search that led to Doner (as well as digital shop EVP and social media player Victors & Spoils) and will be among the key decision-makers in the media review.

Another key player is Jon Macca, vp of media and customer engagement. Macca joined the retailer in May, after more than 20 years in agency roles at shops like Carat, MindShare and MediaVest.

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