Mother and WCRS pitch for £10m Armani task

Armani is holding a pitch for the creative duties on its Armani Jeans brand, signalling a departure from its policy of producing ads in-house.

The fashion house has approached Mother and WCRS to pitch for the business, estimated to be worth as much as £10 million. Robin Derrick, the Vogue creative director and an Armani consultant, is also believed to be involved.

Armani has charged the two agencies with the task of creating a "big idea" that will play out on television and in cinemas.

The move comes as the manufacturer prepares to celebrate its jeans brand's 25th anniversary.

The shift away from advertising by Armani's in-house creative team emulates recent cinematic efforts by labels such as Chanel and Prada.

Armani's in-house advertising has enjoyed mixed success in the past.

Last year, it was censured by the Advertising Standards Authority for a press execution for its Junior range, which featured a topless child wearing baggy jeans and a necklace.

The ad triggered 74 complaints from the public, who argued that it could encourage paedophiles. The ASA agreed that the picture made the model's gender ambiguous and drew attention to the child's sexuality.

The UK clothing market is valued at £35 billion annually. In its most recent figures, Armani posted net global profits for the year ending December 2004 of x126 million, a fall of 5.7 per cent on the previous year. Revenue rose 3.5 per cent to x1.3 billion for the same period.

- Comment, page 60.

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