Kmart's $15 million mul ticultural advertising account is set to be split between the Chisholm-Mingo Group and Cultura following the retailer's expected break with GlobalHue, sources said.
Southfield, Mich.-based GlobalHue has handled Kmart's African American account since 1997 and picked up Hispanic duties in May 2001. The shop, its relationship hurt by a couple of key executive departures at the Troy, Mich., client, was negotiating its exit last week, sources said.
GlobalHue executives declined com ment. Steve Feuling, Kmart mar keting svp, said Kmart has not made any announcement about an agency shift and declined further comment.
Sources said Brent Willis, who left Kmart in April 2001, had been a champion of the shop, embracing its animated dancing Blue Lights concept. General-market agency TBWA\ Chiat\Day in New York was compelled to use the Blue Lights in its spots, sources said.
GlobalHue was also hurt when CEO Chuck Conaway, also a fan of the shop, left Kmart last March, sources said.
GlobalHue was passed over for a big Hispanic assignment earlier this year when Kmart tapped a shop launched by two former GlobalHue employees. Alturas Communications in Denver and Troy, Mich., sold an idea for La Vida, a Kmart-sponsored magazine geared toward the Hispanic community. Alturas was founded by Manny Fields, who managed the entire Kmart account at GlobalHue, and Armando Martin, who led the Hispanic efforts.
The last work GlobalHue, formerly Don Coleman Advertising, completed for the retailer was an April 2002 effort that used original music by Chaka Khan, BeBe Winans and José Feliciano.
U.S. Bankruptcy Court filings as of January show GlobalHue is owed $3.2 million and TBWA\C\D is owed $5.4 million. Sources said the GlobalHue number has grown to more than $5 million.