Home Depot taps OMD for media, narrows creative pitch after Richards Group fallout

Credit: Home Depot
Credit: Home Depot

Carat, which held the account since 2011, lost the media business; BBDO and Leo Burnett are in the final running for the creative account.

Home Depot has just concluded a U.S. media review, choosing OMD as its media AOR for traditional and digital media, both companies confirmed on Thursday. 

The home improvement retailer has also narrowed down the agencies on its creative pitch roster to BBDO and Leo Burnett. The review has not yet concluded. Leo Burnett and BBDO declined to comment. 

Home Depot declined to comment on the ongoing creative review. 

“This is a case of total alignment between the needs of a modern marketer and the capabilities of a modern media agency,” said OMD CEO John Osborn in a statement, adding that talent and the Omnicom internal analytics platform, Omni, played a role in the win.

"We’re excited about our new partnership with OMD and we’re looking forward to working with their team," a Home Depot spokesperson said.

Home Depot launched the media review in June, and shortly followed with a creative review announced in October, run by pitch consultant Roth Ryan Hayes. 

Carat was the incumbent on the media business since 2011, and defended the pitch. UM was also reportedly in the running. Both declined to comment. 

"Carat has been a fantastic partner and they have incredible people, which made this a tough decision," the Home Depot spokesperson said. "As we reviewed all of the agencies, we just felt this was the right fit for our business moving forward.  We appreciate Carat’s support over the years."

The creative review came after Home Depot fired The Richards Group, its agency for 25 years, in light of founder Stan Richards’ racist comments last fall. 

The review is focused on “overall marketing and creative strategy, thought leadership, creative execution and ongoing campaign development and optimization," according to RFI documents obtained by AdAge in November. 

The account also includes digital and social creative, production, comms planning, influencer marketing and Gen Z specific executions, and asks agencies to use data and analytics to realize efficiencies.

Home Depot spends $445 million on media in the U.S. annually, according to Kantar, and its total advertising account totals $1.1 billion, per AdAge.

While some retailers have struggled during the pandemic, Home Depot’s sales increased 23% in Q3 to $33.5 billion as people took up home improvement projects during the pandemic.

This story has been updated with a statement from Home Depot.

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