The Minneapolis-based agency, Fallon McElligott, has scooped Lee
Jeans’ dollars 20 million pan-European account after a two-month
Fallon - which handles Lee in its home market of the US - beat Abbott
Mead Vickers BBDO, Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters and the UK incumbent,
Grey, to the account. It will be a key piece of business for Fallon’s
fledgling London agency when it opens this summer.
At the same time, media planning and buying, which was handled by
MediaCom, will move to CIA Medianetwork, which already handles Lee’s
sister jeans brand, Wrangler. The account will cover key European
markets, including the UK, Italy, Germany and the Benelux and
Pitches were called and run from Brussels by David Smith, the European
marketing director of V. F. Europe Jeanswear, which owns Lee and
Smith said he had called the review to seek a separate strong identity
for the brand, which had lagged behind Wrangler in terms of
Grey has run the Lee Jeans account in Europe for the past six years, but
the brand has suffered badly at the hands of increased competition from
Diesel and designer label jeans such as Armani, as well as the
traditional market leader, Levi Strauss. Grey’s last major TV commercial
for Lee, which traditionally appeals more to women than men, featured a
couple making love in space.
Smith said Fallon won the business because of its ideas for a ’genuine,
holistic’ through-the-line campaign. ’Fallon McElligott offered a
brilliant strategy for the brand, ’ he added.
US executives had led the Fallon pitch, but Smith met with prospective
London management to check ’chemistry’. Robert Senior and Michael Wall,
two senior directors at TBWA Simons Palmer, will run the UK agency as
joint managing directors when it opens (Campaign, 20 March).