Incumbent GSD&M - invited by Wal-Mart to re-pitch for the $580 million account after the retailer reversed its decision to bring on DraftFCB - has declined to rejoin the fray.
In a statement released by GSD&M, the agency's cofounder and president, Roy Spence, said: "I want to thank Wal-Mart for inviting us to re-pitch the business. I have decided to decline. We helped build Wal-Mart from $11 billion in sales to $312 billion. We declare victory. We will do everything to make the transition perfect. We wish our great friends well. And we are moving on," reports AdAge (via MediaBuyerPlanner).
Why the agency declined to re-pitch is unclear, but some speculate that the original pitch put pressure on the agency, particularly because the retailer and GSD&M had a 20-year, high-profile relationship. It is also possible that the hoopla surrounding the dismissal of Wal-Mart change agent Julie Roehm and Sean Womack, VP-communications architecture, made the account - though undeniably desirable in terms of billings - less palatable.
Left to pitch for the account are WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather and Interpublic's Martin Agency, which, the article points out, couldn't be more different from each other in terms of approach. Ogilvy is respected for its full spectrum of marketing services for marketers such as IBM and American Express, whereas the Martin Agency is best known for producing quirky campaigns such as the Geico Gecko.