Gap calls £30m European media review

LONDON - The clothing retailer Gap has put its estimated £30 million pan-European media account, held by Mediaedge:CIA, up for review.

The news comes after Gap, which has been experiencing declining sales for some time, reported a 37 per cent drop in second-quarter profits.

Rival agency networks are optimistic of a quick turnaround - they were invited to tender initial submissions this week, with pitches taking place next week.

It is understood that representatives from all the main networks have been invited to supply initial submissions from which a shortlist will be created. The pitches will be held at Gap's San Francisco headquarters, with agency representatives from each market pitching separately. The key UK, German and French markets are included in the pitch.

The clothing company has been put under pressure from clothing retailers such as Uniqlo, Zara and H&M but there has also been criticism of the effectiveness of the company's advertising.

In a bid to improve its fortunes the company embarked on a Christmas ad campaign featuring celebrities such as Sheryl Crow and Seal.

More recently it signed up the Hollywood film directors Cameron Crowe, Roman Coppola and the Coen brothers but these moves do not seem to have stemmed the losses.

The review marks only the second time that Gap has looked at its media arrangements. In 1998 the company appointed IDK, which was later absorbed by CIA, to handle the brief.

Before this, the media brief was split between MediaCom and Gap's US office, which handled much of the business in-house.

The creative, which is handled in-house, is not affected by the review.

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