MEC softens blow of Reebok's departure with £2.5m NB brief

By Emma Barns,, Friday, 30 July 2004 12:00AM

Mediaedge:cia has won the £2.5 million New Balance sportswear account and will work on the business in the UK, France and Germany.

The win partially offsets the network's loss of the £20 million Reebok account to OMD earlier this week. OMD will handle the business across Europe as the sportswear brand looks to consolidate its advertising into Omnicom, OMD's parent.

MEC picked up the New Balance account without a pitch. The company, which did not employ a retained media agency in the UK, used Initiative in France and MK Werbung in Germany.

The company is developing a five-year marketing programme to develop the brand. It has recently appointed the creative agency Fresh Britain, which will work with MEC on a campaign due to break in spring 2005.

The campaign, called "endorsed by no-one", aims to differentiate New Balance from its competition by targeting grown-up consumers who are after performance and fit as well as style.

Alistair Cameron, the New Balance general manager, EMEA, said: "Initially, we will have a marketing budget of $4.5 million that will increase as we develop the brand and build sales. We needed a company that could deliver a 360-degree solution. In MEC, we have certainly found this."

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