Wal-Mart and its $580m messed up account review

I am going to list some information that intrigues me and then add my 2 cents on them as I see them. Please be warned that I may be wrong and I don’t have any inside information.

Disclosure: Even though I don’t think it affects my judgment on this story, I should make it clear that I love Saatchi & Saatchi. And I find Kevin Roberts a very insightful man and his Lovemarks idea cool. Naturally, the Saatchi & Saatchi team must be feeling great that they took themselves out of the Wal-Mart bid and got that $430m JC Penney deal instead.

From AdAge “Wal-Mart to Reopen $580 Million Account Review“,

  1. The deal was awarded to DraftFCB and Carat. And now “DraftFCB will not be eligible to participate” but Carat is still eligible. So what kind of “new information” did Wal-Mart have on DraftFCB to fire DraftFCB in such a manner?
  2. We are open to another IPG agency in the process.” So the “new information” must be localized in DraftFCB. Interesting.
  3. “We’re disappointed,” a DraftFCB spokesman said.‘ Well, this has to be the business-related understatement of the year. Yeap, “$580m in” and then “$580m out”, that is quite a disappointment indeed.

I would like to quote and reread Ms. Roehm statement from two days ago (Dec 5) again (from AdAge), [K: emphasis mine]

I was hired by Wal-Mart as a change agent a little less than a year ago. One of my first orders of business was to help spearhead a comprehensive agency review. Now that I have established the Marketing Communications organization and completed the agency review, it’s time to tackle my next challenge. I have enjoyed my time at Wal-Mart and I wish my many friends and colleagues there much future success.

Now, why would Ms. Roehm want to issue such a statement when she probably know that a max of a few days (two days) later, her review will be undone? With a high-profile senior executive like Ms. Roehm, her lawyer must have set in place (or negotiate) a great golden parachute for her.

I will not be surprise a bit if Ms. Roehm’s severance package include terms that forbid both sides from saying a word about how and why Ms. Roehm leave. And a great package will allow Ms. Roehm to say, “I have enjoyed my time at Wal-Mart …” in a statement. If Ms. Roehm got fired or if her package doesn’t look super great, her lawyer will be mad to let her issue the statement.

Here are more info from AdWeek with a few more quotes but not much more info from others. Please let me know if you see other news with good info. Thanks.

2 Responses to Wal-Mart and its $580m messed up account review

  1. […] Here are two new blog entries on “Wal-Mart and its $580m messed up account review” and “Wal-Mart should “really pay” Ad Agencies for bidding twice“. […]

  2. […] Dec 8 Update #3: I have added two new posts  “Wal-Mart and its $580m messed up account review” and “Wal-Mart should “really pay” Ad Agencies for bidding twice“. Dec 7 Update #2: If you have any insights/behind the scene stories that you can share, please add your comment in the post “Wal-Mart reopen $580m ad account review for fun?“. And I have added two new posts  “Wal-Mart and its $580m messed up account review” and “Wal-Mart should “really pay” Ad Agencies for bidding twice“. […]

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