JC Penney Launches Media Agency Review

Retail giant JC Penney is launching a media agency review, sources confirmed Friday.

The company spends an estimated $450 million a year on ads in the U.S.

The company has not conducted a full blown media agency review in over a decade, when Omnicom’s OMD was awarded the account. The agency declined to comment, referring calls to the client. Penney officials did not immediately respond to a query.

Sources said the process is at an early stage with RFP’s set to go out next week.

Word of the review comes after the company confirmed that a new CEO was taking the helm of the company in November —Marvin Ellison, former executive vice president of U.S. stores for Home Depot.

The company has suffered losses in recent years and a tumbling stock price. In 2011 it hired Ron Johnson, the former Apple executive to turn things around, but his strategy didn’t gain traction and he departed last year.

Internally the review will be overseen by Debra Berman, who joined as SVP Marketing in 2013. She’s already made a number of changes to the retailer’s agency roster, including the hiring of Doner, digital agency EVB and Victors & Spoils.



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