business news in context, analysis with attitude

Kmart, which probably has gotten used to Wal-Mart’s leftovers, announced that it has hired as its advertising agency Draft FCB, the same company that was dismissed by Wal-Mart just two months after in landed the account.

Draft FCB was dismissed by Wal-Mart as part of the scandal connected to what was described as inappropriate romantic behavior between two of its marketing executives, Julie Roehm and Sean Womack, as well as the unacceptable acceptance of gifts from the agency by Roehm, which suggested that it may have had an unfair advantage. In making the charges against Roehm, Wal-Mart dismissed Draft FCB and immediately put the account up for review, and did not allow that agency to participate.

Ironically, Wal-Mart ended up hiring the Martin Agency of Richmond, Virginia, to replace Draft FCB. Both Martin and Draft FCB are part of the part of the Interpublic Group of Companies.

In hiring Draft FCB, Kmart dismissed Grey Worldwide as its agency, despite the fact that Grey was “finishing its work on a major brand-image campaign for Kmart that is scheduled to begin appearing next month.” Grey has been Kmart’s agency since 2003, and Kmart reportedly plans to launch that campaign on schedule despite the change in agencies.

It hardly is a wash for Draft FCB. Wal-Mart’s business was worth about $580 million a year, while Kmart’s is worth just a paltry $200 million.
KC's View:
We wonder if Draft FCB romanced Kmart with the same alacrity – drinks, dinner, etc… - with which it allegedly pursued Julie Roehm?