Timberland kicks off agency search

Timberland, the clothing and footwear brand, is looking for an agency to handle its £5 million global advertising task.

The brand has contacted a number of undisclosed agencies in the US and UK with a view to holding a pitch. Timberland's US-based in-house marketing team is handling the process.

It is not clear if the incumbent, the Havas-owned agency Arnold, will be repitching for the brief. It won the task in April, following a competitive pitch against several undisclosed shops.

Timberland has worked with Fallon Worldwide's New York office in the past, but that project-based relationship concluded in February 2007. It is understood that the winning agency will produce global campaigns to boost the brand's dwindling sales. In the three months up to June 2007, Timberland's profits fell 39 per cent, from $161.6 million to $99.2 million. The company has also warned it expects a shortfall in sales of up to £49 million by the end of the year.

Arnold made attempts to remedy this downturn with a global campaign for the retailer's Earthkeeper boots, which launched earlier this year.

The ad featured a wall of rain charging across the countryside. Opposite, a man was shown walking towards the storm, but just before the rain covered him, it stopped, giving the hiker time to zip up his jacket. He was then shown advancing into the rain, protected by his Timberland clothing.

One of Timberland's best-known campaigns was a long copy press ad called "Red Indian". The ad, created by Leagas Delaney in 1988, explained that its boots were made in a moccasin-style to increase their longevity. The work featured a tongue-in-cheek tale, complete with image, of how Timberland stole moccasins from the Native Americans.

Timberland had not returned calls when Campaign went to press.