Fallon loses pan-European Lee Jeans account

LONDON - Fallon has parted company with its founding client, Lee Jeans, the denim brand owned by VF Northern Europe. The move is likely to see the multimillion-pound pan-European account going up for pitch.

The move spells the end of a four-and-a-half-year partnership between the jeans manufacturer and the UK agency, which launched in 1998 with Lee's European account. The US business is handled by Fallon in Minneapolis.

Robert Senior, a partner at Fallon, said: "This is a grown-up business decision after a lot of soul searching on both sides. It's not something that either party does lightly, but it's the right decision for both our brands."

No one at VF Northern Europe in Brussels was available to comment on which agencies would now be invited to pitch for the business.

Mediaedge:CIA, which won the business as CIA Medianetwork in April 1998, continues to handle media activity for the brand.

Lee Jeans dropped Grey and appointed Fallon London to its £12m European advertising account in April 1998. The agency won the business after a pitch against Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, DFGW and Grey, which had been the incumbent on the account for six years.

Its most recent activity on the account was an eye-catching pan-European campaign that ran last year and featured talking bottoms going on a quest in search of the perfect pair of Lee Jeans. The Ringan Ledwidge-directed spot ran on cinema, MTV Europe and as a viral, and represented a repositioning of the brand, while aiming to steal market share from its primary rival, Levi Strauss.

Last year, Lee spent £3m on advertising across eight European markets.

VF's retail remit covers jeans, casual clothes and luggage. The advertising activity for its Wrangler Jeans brand is handled by AMV.

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