Sears Holdings has finished its long-running review of agencies for its Sears and Kmart brands, keeping Havas Worldwide and Publicis Groupe while cutting Interpublic agency FCB.
In a memo sent to agency staffers Thursday, FCB Chicago CEO Michael Fassnacht and Chief Creative Officer Todd Tilford said they had anticipated the change:
"You should all hold your heads high," said the memo, obtained by Adweek. "Our campaigns for Kmart have resulted in five Cannes Lions, helped us become Communication Arts' third-most awarded agency in the world and WARC's third-most creative agency in the U.S. Well done!"
FCB, which created Kmart's popular and award-winning "Ship My Pants" ad and related spots, successfully retained Kmart after a competitive review in 2013. The account represents 2 percent of the agency's revenue. In the memo, Fassnacht and Tilford said the agency can now devote resources to "a more fiscally healthy retailer," and said the team working on the Kmart account will be reassigned to other brands in FCB's roster, which includes Anheuser-Busch InBev, BMO Harris, Nestlé and Boeing.
The agency review has been a drawn-out process. Some had expected the review to be complete earlier in the year. However, Bill Kiss, the chief digital officer for Sears and Kmart, said back in March that no date had been set.
"We're looking for quality over speed. This is about finding the right partner," Kiss said at the time.
This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.