3 Teams Reach the Final Round of the Big Sears Holdings Review

Review encompasses all marketing services for Sears, Kmart

Three holding company teams have advanced in Sears Holdings Corp.'s marketing services review.

Agency teams from Havas, Publicis Groupe and Interpublic Group made the cut and will be briefed further this week, according to sources. The review encompasses sister brands Sears and Kmart, which collectively spend $560 million in media annually.

The Havas group is led by Havas Worldwide, a roster shop that handles Sears' Craftsman, Die Hard and Kenmore brands. (Sister shop Havas Media plans and buys media for both Sears and Kmart.) FCB, Kmart's lead creative shop, is fronting Interpublic's team and Leo Burnett is leading Publicis Groupe's effort.

Last month Dentsu's mcgarrybowen, another Sears shop, withdrew from the review, severing ties with the brand. Omnicom, represented by DDB, also participated in the process; a holding company representative said that the team withdrew on Friday. Sears began its review late last year.

Total revenue on the business, which includes traditional and digital creative responsibilities and media planning and buying, is estimated at more than $20 million. 

While sources expect the search to be completed by May, Bill Kiss, the chief digital marketing officer for Sears and Kmart who is leading the process, said no specific date has been set. "We're looking for quality over speed. This is about finding the right partner," Kiss said.

Sears has yet to replace Imran Jooma, who exited in February after serving as evp, president, marketing, online and financial services. He left to join Finish Line.

In recent years FCB, then known as Draftfcb, and Havas Media, as MPG, have prevailed after lengthy reviews of their respective Kmart and Sears Holdings accounts.