Wal-Mart Reopens Search for Ad Agency
Bentonville, Ark., Wal-Mart Stores has reopened its search for an advertising agency of record, according to a report in the Kansas City Business Journal. The news comes just days after Julie Roehm, senior VP of marketing communications at Wal-Mart, abruptly left the company. She had led Wal-Mart’s agency review and was responsible for the decision to fire Wal-Mart’s longtime agency, Kansas City-based Bernstein-Rein Advertising Inc.
In October, Wal-Mart announced it had hired Interpublic Group’s DraftFCB to serve as its agency of record and Aegis Group’s Carat USA to help with marketing. Bernstein-Reif had handled the majority of Wal-Mart’s estimated $580 advertising portfolio for more than 30 years. The company is leading Wal-Mart’s holiday campaign and remains under contract through Dec. 31. It was uncertain whether Bernstein-Rein would attempt to win back the Wal-Mart account.
Kroger 3Q Profit Up 16%
Cincinnati, Kroger Inc. on Tuesday said third-quarter net income rose 16%, as established stores turned in a solid performance. Net income for the quarter ended Nov. 4 climbed to $214.7 million compared with net income of $185.4 million. Kroger said revenue gained 5% to $14.70 billion, from $14.02 billion last year. Analysts predicted revenue of $14.86 billion. Comp-store sales increased 4.9% including gasoline sales and 5.3% excluding fuel sales.
For fiscal 2007, the company sees earnings per share growth between 6% and 8%.
Blockbuster Gives Free Rentals to Netflix Clients
Los Angeles, Blockbuster began offering free in-store rentals to subscribers of on-line rival Netflix on Tuesday as it tries to take market share from Netflix and reach its year-end subscriber goal, according to a report by Reuters. Netflix subscribers can get one free rental at Blockbuster stores for each address label they bring in from their Netflix mailing envelopes.
The offer to Netflix subscribers, which runs until Dec. 21, comes after Blockbuster began allowing subscribers to its own on-line rental service to swap DVDs they received in the mail at Blockbuster stores.
The program, called Total Access, highlights the main difference between the two competitive services: Blockbuster has stores where consumers can immediately satisfy a desire for a particular movie.