Wal-Mart's New-New Adman

By awarding The Martin Agency its main creative account, the top retailer tries to put an embarrassing episode behind it and regain momentum

After a difficult month that saw Wal-Mart (WMT) sack a star marketing executive and fire the ad agency that exec had helped select, the retailer has decided who will handle its roughly $580 million annual advertising budget. The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., owned by the Interpublic Group (IPG), will run Wal-Mart's general market creative account, while Publicis-owned MediaVest will handle media buying and planning, Wal-Mart said in a Jan. 12 statement. The company also named three agencies to handle multicultural advertising: Southfield (Mich.)-based GlobalHue for African-American advertising, Los Angeles-based IW Group for the Asian-American market, and Houston-based Lopez Negrete for Hispanics.

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