Walmart is moving its media account from Mindshare to Starcom. The retail giant confirmed the shift to The Message in an email statement.
“[A]fter hosting a fair and competitive RFP process, we have selected Starcom as our new media agency of record,” said Adam Grachnik, Walmart’s director of corporate affairs. The RFP process was managed by Toronto-based Listenmore Inc.
“We would like to thank Mindshare, with whom we’ve enjoyed an excellent relationship,” said Grachnik. “The agency transition will occur in early 2021.”
Mindshare did not respond to requests for comment, and both Walmart and Starcom declined to provide more details about the mandate for the Publicis-owned media agency.
The change comes as Walmart is moving decisively to expand and grow its media business, Walmart Media Group—selling advertising across its owned and operated properties, while building its ad-tech stack and using its massive first party data set to reach customers beyond its own sites.
Here in Canada, the company hired Dana Toering, a well-known digital advertising expert, as vice-president to lead Walmart Media Group in Canada in September. “Working to build the next greatest and most innovative media company in Canada,” is how Toering describes his role on LinkedIn.
In November, Walmart Media Group Canada also held two virtual “summits” to promote its offerings to would-be customers.
WMG says it has a database of more than 17 million active audience profiles and an ad network that covers its owned and operated properties, as well as “thousands of sites” beyond its properties.