Kmart is moving fast in its recently-launched review of creative agency partners, with final pitches expected to be held at the end of March, sources said.
Spec creative is part of the search as the Sears Holdings unit conducts a procurement-driven process.
Incumbent Draftfcb, which declined to comment, is expected to participate in the review. The Interpublic agency has worked with Kmart since 2007 when the account shifted from the New York office of Grey.
It could not immediately be determined how many agencies received the retailer’s request for information.
In the first nine months of 2012, Kmart spent $98.6 million in measured media, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include digital investment or business-to-business advertising. In 2011, Kmart spent $175.8 million in measured media.
A Kmart rep said: “From time to time, we review all suppliers and will be initiating a review process for Kmart’s lead advertising agency. To respect the process and those participating, we will not be disclosing any other information during the review.”
The current search follows last summer’s decision by Sears Holdings, the parent of Kmart and Sears, to retain MPG as the company’s lead media agency after a year-long review. The Havas media unit also won the business in 2007.
Last year, Peterson Milla Hooks was retained by Kmart to handle its apparel and home products, business that had been run by Draftfcb.
Kmart is still looking for a chief marketer since CMO Mark Snyder left the company in the third quarter of 2011.