Gap reviews Euro media

ZenithOptimedia on alert as US retailer kicks off pan-European media pitch.

Gap, the US fashion retailer, has kicked off a review of its £30 million pan-European media arrangements.

ZenithOptimedia, the incumbent on the business, is expected to repitch for the account against at least two other networks. The UK and France are the key markets involved in the review.

Gap is also thought to be re-evaluating its relationship with Naked Communications, which was appointed in May to work on pan-European communications strategy related to customer segmentation.

The media review comes four years after Optimedia was appointed by Gap to handle its media planning and buying, taking the business from Mediaedge:cia.

Last year Gap, which runs global advertising created by the US agency Laird & Partners, put more of a focus on its European marketing with the appointment of Clare Dobbie from Mother as European marketing director.

Gap reviewed its US media account earlier this year and appointed Carat to the $100 million business in June. PHD was the previous incumbent.

The retailer is battling to turn around its fortunes on the high street. Its global third-quarter profits were $189 million, down from $212 million in the same period in 2005.

Gap's 2005 European sales fell 6 per cent to $825 million from $879 million the year before. In the past two years, it has invested heavily in its European operations. Dobbie is part of a European team, including merchandising and design, that was set up in London last year. Gap has opened four new stores in Europe this year, taking the total to 169.

Dobbie was unavailable for comment.

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