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Walmart Inc is aggressively expanding its advertising business after years of stuttering progress, even as a proposed deal to buy a stake in video-sharing app TikTok remains stuck in limbo.
The world’s largest retailer is making better use of its wealth of shopper data to link promotions on its website and app with ads inside its network of 4,700 U.S. stores, according to Reuters interviews with six advertising agencies and Walmart ad tech partners, three major brands plus bankers and ex-employees.
The refocused strategy was born early last year when Walmart cut ties with its external advertising partner and took the business in-house, calling it Walmart Media Group.
Walmart is also going after a new channel of ad revenue called “brand advertising,” typically reserved for TV, by offering more formats like online display ads, said George Manas, chief media officer at ad agency OMD USA.