Nike talks to agencies about pounds 9m UK ad task

Nike is talking to UK agencies about the future of its business, posing a possible threat to TBWA Simons Palmer’s seven-year hold on the pounds 9 million account.

Nike is talking to UK agencies about the future of its business,

posing a possible threat to TBWA Simons Palmer’s seven-year hold on the

pounds 9 million account.



The sports giant has had discussions with WCRS, St Luke’s and BMP DDB.

Sports such as basketball and tennis are thought to be in the spotlight,

although Nike denies reports that it will split up its business.



Clare Dobbie, the advertising manager of Nike UK, confirmed the

discussions were taking place, but said: ’We have no current plans to

resign TBWA Simons Palmer. It is a long time since we talked to any

agencies and we want to be sure that we are working with the best

people. Nike holds advertising in high esteem and we want all our

commercials to get 11 out of ten.’



In defence of TBWA, Dobbie said that ’park life’, the current television

commercial, was ’probably the best football ad ever’. However, it is

thought that Nike has had second thoughts about its UK agency following

the merger between Simons Palmer Clemmow Johnson and TBWA earlier this

year.



Carl Johnson, the managing director of TBWA Simons Palmer, explained:

’There are as many opportunities as problems in this for us.’



Nike’s main challenge is to manage the growth of the brand, which has

doubled in size in the past three years.



Rivals such as Adidas and Reebok are catching up with the brand leader,

and the appearance of new leisure clothing brands, such as Tommy

Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren Sport, has also overturned the market.



In March, Nike handed almost dollars 50 million worth of US business to

Goodby Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco. The move came soon after

the appointment of Geoffrey Frost as the director of worldwide

advertising and put an end to the exclusivity of Nike’s 15-year

relationship with Wieden and Kennedy in the US.



Nike’s relationship with Manning Gottlieb Media is unaffected.