- US agency Fallon McElligott has won the £20 million pan European Lee Jeans business.
The Minneapolis based agency, which already handles the Lee Jeans account in the US, won the business after a four way pitch against the incumbent, Grey, as well as Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters.
The media planning and buying for Lee Jeans is also to move with CIA Medianetwork taking over from Grey media dependent Mediacom. CIA already handles Lee sister brand Wrangler.
Grey had handled the Lee Jeans account in Europe for the last six years, but the brand has suffered badly at the hands of increased competition from the likes of Diesel and designer label jeans such as Armani, as well as the traditional jeans market leader Levi Strauss.
Fallon McElligott will open its first European office in London on the back of the win. Robert Senior and Michael Wall, two senior directors at TBWA Simons Palmer, will run the operation as joint managing directors.
A number of other names have been linked to Fallon McElligott including Laurence Green, a board account director at Lowe Howard-Spink. More appointments are expected in the next couple of days.
The appointment of a new agency for Lee Jeans follows the appointment of David Smith as European marketing director.
Smith has worked for Lee in the US until he was appointed European marketing director for Wrangler in October 1996. He will oversee an increase in advertising spend of 15 per cent in Europe this year.
According to Smith: "Fallon McElligott won the business on the back of a brilliant strategy for moving the brand forward. Overall it provided the Lee brand with a fantastic foundation for the longer term together with a series of unique opportunities for a genuinely holistic and extendible through the line campaign," he said.