The companies on Tuesday announced they are setting up a new entity to handle the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer's U.S. advertising and in-store creative. The companies said the relationship is not exclusive and took effect on July 1.
Walmart CEO Doug McMillon said the partnership "will help us think and act differently, which will ultimately enable us to serve our customers better," while Publicis CEO Maurice Levy said the alliance is the direct result of he firm's new approach to deliver end-to-end solutions for clients.
"Our goal is to leverage all of Publicis' assets -- not just the resources of one agency - to help them in these efforts," said Levy, expected to retire next year after three decades at the helm.
Publicis said it will pull resources from various agencies in its portfolio to ensure the right talent is working on each Walmart project.
The effort will be led by Arthur Sadoun, CEO of Publicis Communications, created last December to house all the group's creative networks, including Publicis Worldwide, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi and MSL public relations.
Walmart has already been working with Saatchi & Saatchi on creative and with Interpublic Group's (IPG - Get Report) Martin Agency for creative, but the latter is now officially losing the creative part to Publicis, people familiar with the matter told Advertising Age magazine.
A spokesperson for Publicis did not respond to an emailed request for comment. Its stock was up 1.3% in Paris on Wednesday. Walmart was little changed at $73.26 in early trading.