Kmart Makes Howard Happy

The Wall Street Journal’s (paid sub. req.) lead says it all, “Goodbye, Wal-Mart. Hello, Kmart.” Just months after the punishing loss of the Arkansas-based retail behemoth, and the sordid affairs that led to it, Howard Draft’s agency is back in business.

Kmart, a unit of Sears Holdings, chose the Interpublic Group agency because of the shop’s skills in “analytics” and “customer insights,” says Maureen McGuire, chief marketing officer of Sears Holdings, who awarded the business without a review. DraftFCB picks up ad duties from WPP Group’s Grey Worldwide, which has worked for the brand since 2003.
“Our decision was based solely on the capabilities of DraftFCB and the support we think they can provide Kmart,” says Bill Stewart, Kmart’s chief marketing officer, who had worked with FCB during his tenure at Levi Strauss. Among the strengths DraftFCB emphasized was a department that does detailed research on competitors, Mr. Stewart says.
The Wal-Mart incident “wasn’t important,” Ms. McGuire says.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. daveednyc says:

    Wow. Looks like Grey is getting more and more marginalized to the point where not even staid and “boring” clients like Kmart want to work with them anymore. They just don’t have the muscle and more aggressive agencies have been taking business away from them for years.