DALLAS, Texas: US shopping mall and e-tail giant J C Penney on Friday gave the heave-ho to DDB Chicago, its agency of record for the past six years. While such commonplace comings and goings are not usually grist to this publication's mill, Penney is no medium-size account.

According to TNS Media Intelligence, JCP channelled some $430 million (€336.1m; £226.03m) of adspend through DDB's Windy City office in 2005. The account's move to pastures new is mega-bad news to DDB and its parent Omnicom.

As to the location of those verdant pastures,the client has confirmed it is shifting the business into Saatchi & Saatchi after the agency pulled out of the race for Wal-Mart Stores' $580m account.

Meantime, the name of the game at DDB is 'Smilin' Through'.

Said DDB Chicago ceo Dana Anderson in a memo to staff: "We are disappointed to tell you that DDB's partnership with J C Penney will come to an end. [JCP] president Ken Hicks, called and said 'You've been a great partner and done fantastic work, but we just felt it was time for a change.'"

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff