TBWA\C\D Is Kmart’s Seventh

New York Shop Among Contenders for Retailer’s $100 Mil. Account
CHICAGO–TBWA\Chiat\Day is the “undisclosed” shop contending for Kmart’s $100 million ad account, sources said. It was among the seven agencies that attended a group briefing on Friday.
Initially, the client did not disclose the New York shop by “mutual agreement,” leading some sources to speculate that TBWA\C\D was shielding itself from a potential conflict with Circuit City. Others, however, suggested the shop had other reasons. TBWA\C\D executives could not be reached.
Five-year incumbent Campbell Mithun in Minneapolis is defending the business, which went into review in late June–less than a month after new CEO Charles Conaway arrived at the Troy, Mich., company [Adweek, July 3]. Conaway previously was president and chief operating officer at CVS Corp.
The other five shops that got briefed by the client were Grey Worldwide and Lowe, Lintas & Partners, both New York; J. Walter Thompson, New York and Detroit; FCB Worldwide, Chicago and Detroit; and Temerlin McClain, Irving, Texas.
Presentations are set for the first week in September, with a decision by the end of that month.
Temerlin McClain and FCB are both True North Communications shops, as is Kmart’s minority agency, Don Coleman Advertising. Temerlin McClain earlier this year lost its J.C. Penney business, while FCB’s retail experience includes the recently departed Payless ShoeSource account. JWT used to work for Kohl’s Department Stores, which recently moved to McCann-Erickson Worldwide, New York [Adweek, July 31].
Coleman’s African-American ad account with Kmart is not affected by the review, nor are roster shops Castor’s Hispanic and Meridian’s retail and promotions businesses, Kmart said when it started the search.
The review is not Conaway’s only move for the retailer. Last month, he closed 72 stores, reset the top executive lineup and also made known a search for a new post, chief marketing officer, that will oversee advertising. That search has not affected the review, as Kmart needs to stay on a fast track to get advertising from a new agency ready for the holiday season, sources said.