Interpublic Stacks Deck in Kmart’s Review

McCann, Draftfcb are IPG

Interpublic Group has to like its odds in the Kmart creative review.

Two of the three finalists—McCann Erickson in New York and incumbent Draftfcb in Chicago—are units of Interpublic, according to sources. The third is Dentsu’s mcgarrybowen in Chicago.

Final presentations took place this week at Kmart’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill. and a decision is expected in the next few weeks. The retailer spent $175 million in media last year, according to Nielsen.

(Interestingly, Interpublic could have had yet another contender for the business—Hill Holliday in Boston—but the shop withdrew before the final pitches, sources said.)

Kmart is a unit of Sears Holdings, so the presence of Sears lead agency mcgarrybowen in the search comes as no surprise. But will Kmart executives want to employ the same shop as their Sears colleagues?

McCann has ample retail experience, having worked for Staples since 2004. Staples also is in review now, so it appears that McCann is hedging its bets. The agency declined to comment and Kmart could not immediately be reached.

Kmart’s search comes less than a year after Sears Holdings reviewed its media planning and buying business across both Sears and Kmart. Havas Media, the agency formerly known as MPG, retained that account.

Draftfcb has handled Kmart since 2007, when the agency wrested the account from WPP Group’s Grey.