Kohl’s Confirms Media Agency Review

Universal McCann is incumbent

As if the holiday season isn’t hectic enough for the marketing department at Kohl’s, the company confirmed it has launched a review of its media account. Universal McCann is the incumbent.

“We are currently conducting a search for a media agency and have invited Universal McCann, among others, to participate in the RFP process,” said Vicki Shamion, the retailer’s svp of public relations, social marketing and community relations.

In 2011, Kohl’s spent $268 million in measured media, according to Nielsen. That amount does not include Internet spending.

UM didn’t return calls and Kohl’s reps declined to comment further about the review. It’s not clear which agencies are participating in the review process, which is being conducted by consultants SRI, since many large media agency players already have conflicts. Earlier this month, Sears Holdings, the parent of Sears and Kmart, said it would retain Havas’s MPG as its lead media agency. In October, Macy’s hired Aegis’ Carat unit as its new media planning and buying shop. OMD works with JC Penney and Omnicom sister agency PHD handles Lord & Taylor.

Kohl’s has also been looking beyond UM’s Interpublic corporate sibling McCann Erickson for creative input on the retailer’s business. Last June, Kohl’s confirmed it had issued an RFP to other shops about a strategy assignment. McCann was selected as Kohl’s creative lead in 2000, but in recent years, other shops like New York independent DeVito/Verdi have picked up brand work like last spring’s "Athletes" campaign featuring U.S. Olympics soccer player Mia Hamm and skier Lindsey Vonn.