Petco has chosen Horizon Media as its strategic media agency of record following a review launched last fall, which was managed by MediaLink. The selection follows the pet supplies retailer naming MDC Partners-owned Anomaly as its creative AOR last month.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for Petco,” Petco CMO Tariq Hassan said in a statement. “We are undergoing a transformation to become the most trusted partner for pet parents, which requires enhancing our marketing capabilities to allow us to identify, engage and inspire our customers in real-time.”
Hassan joined Petco last September from Bank of America Merrill Lynch, where he was senior vice president of global brand strategy and head of marketing for wealth management. Since coming on board, Hassan has been overseeing the brand’s retail and marketing transformation that included a pledge in November to remove all dog and cat food products containing artificial ingredients from its stores by May 2019.
“Petco is a longtime champion for pets and recently made the bold move to no longer carry any pet food containing artificial ingredients. This is true leadership and vision,” said Bill Koenigsberg, president, CEO and founder of Horizon Media. “We are both fueled by passion and ambition, and I know we will make an incredible partnership as Petco continues to evolve its brand, innovate the in-store experience and transform ecommerce opportunities across its entire portfolio of pet nutrition, products and services.”
Horizon Media said it will be tasked with delivering fully integrated media planning and buying strategies across paid channels while it works closely with Petco’s new creative AOR Anomaly and Edelman, the brand’s PR agency. The partnership goes into effect immediately.
“In Horizon, we’ve found a partner with the ability to combine data and technology with the creativity required to connect with pet parents and drive business results,” added David Grubb, vice president of media, Petco.
IPG’s Initiative used to be Petco’s media AOR, picking up the account in 2011, but an agency spokesman said that partnership ended “a long time ago.” A person close to the review said media duties most recently were handled by a small, local shop. It is unclear what other agencies participated in the recent review.
Petco spent $28.8 million on measured media in the U.S. last year and $12 million during the first half of 2018, according to Kantar Media.