Asics shortlists four creative agencies to pitch for UK account

The elite trainer brand Asics is seeking a creative shop and has shortlisted four agencies to pitch for the UK business.

In the UK, the brand has traditionally run advertising generated from its European offices. However, Paul Derr, the marketing executive at Asics UK, said the company is looking to appoint an agency to run UK-specific advertising alongside an overarching brand campaign from Europe.

"Everyone in the running sector knows who we are from the brand campaign that has been running in Europe for the past few years," he said. "We are a product-led brand and we now want to run UK-targeted advertising to reflect that."

Media planning and buying will continue to be handled in-house by Asics' marketing department.

The move comes as Asics - which has sponsored sports stars including the British decathlete Dean Macey - looks to ramp up its British presence.

It is planning to launch its spin-off fashion brand, Onitsuka Tiger, in the UK next year. The brand has already seen success in markets in Europe.

Television will not initially be part of the creative remit. However, last December Asics launched its first television campaign in the UK - and the first in 11 years for the brand - through Publicis.

The 60-second spot, which Publicis created for free, ran on MTV in the run-up to Christmas.

It showed a chase scene through London's Camden Town, and used the rock band The Music's hit track Take The Long Road. The spot was directed by Susannah Hayes at Ferocious Films.

Asics increased its adspend in the US for the period January to November 2002 by 20.7 per cent period on period.