Publicis’ Mediavest Loses Walmart Business

Who said the ad business was all fun & games?

After nearly a decade-long relationship, Ad Age is reporting that Publicis’ MediaVest has lost Walmart’s estimated $900 million per year domestic media business. The agency group, which employs 95 including 2 here in Chicago, was informed late last week of Walmart’s decision. 

The move to cut ties with MediaVest comes as Walmart appointed Tony Rogers as new CMO to replace the outgoing Stephen Quinn, and as Walmart has already relocated some of its digital media buying in-house through its branded Walmart Exchange platform.

Publicis Groupe’s MediaVest loses Walmart’s business at the worst possible time (not that there’s a good time): the agency has been dealt recent losses with giants P&G and Coke in just the last 8 months, though they do remain P&G’s primary media buyer internationally.

Walmart has yet to name a successor, prompting rumors that the company is taking much of their media business in-house for the foreseeable future. Both Walmart and MediaVest released statements saying they will work together during this “transitional” period to make sure that the handoff goes smoothly.