Wal-Mart Drops Longtime Agency Bernstein-Rein

Share this content:
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. served a cruel blow to longtime agency Bernstein-Rein Advertising, Kansas City, MO, by yanking it out of consideration in an agency review that began earlier this year with the arrival of new marketing executives.

The agency handled Wal-Mart advertising for 32 years, sharing 19 of them with creative incumbent GSD&M, Austin, TX, which is still in the running for the estimated $570 million account. The ties sever Jan. 31.

Wal-Mart expects its new marketing agency to better position the retailer against competitors like Target Corp. and Sears. A new agency or agencies may be named next month.

Four other agencies were dropped from the Wal-Mart review: WPP Group PLC's JWT, New York; MDC Partners' Kirshenbaum bond + partners, New York; and Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett, Chicago, and Publicis Worldwide, New York.

Besides Omnicom Group Inc.'s GSD&M, other agencies still in the review are WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, New York; Publicis' Saatchi & Saatchi, New York; and Interpublic Group of Companies Inc.'s Draft FCB combination in Chicago and The Martin Agency, Richmond, VA.

Bernstein-Rein ads played a critical role in shaping Wal-Mart's public image as it morphed from a small-time retailer in Bentonville, AR, to the nation's No. 1 mass merchandiser. It created the smiley face character and also the low-prices tag line on Wal-Mart ads in print and elsewhere.

The agency is reported to have clocked gross income last year of $59.3 million, though Wal-Mart's contribution to that is not disclosed.

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above