$30 Mil. Lee Jeans to Arnold

NEW YORK Lee Jeans has selected Havas’ Arnold to handle the creative portion of its $30 million ad account following a review, the client has confirmed.

The Merriam, Kan.-based client heard final presentations from Interpublic Group’s Lowe, Omnicom Group’s DDB and Arnold in late December. All three pursued the business from their New York offices.

A fourth contender, Havas’ McKinney + Silver in Durham, N.C., pulled out of the review last month. The incumbent, Publicis Groupe’s Fallon in Minneapolis, split with Lee in September, citing strategic and creative differences.

“We’re excited about this new partnership,” said Liz Cahill, director of advertising and public relations at Lee Jeans, in a statement. “The Lee brand boasts strong heritage and consumer loyalty; matched with Arnold’s proven talent for helping brands stand out in a saturated media market, we look forward to what 2006 will bring.”

New York consultancy AAR Partners managed the process.

Recent Fallon ads for the client have starred brand icon Buddy Lee.

Lee parent VF Corp. in November awarded its $110 media account, including chores on Lee Jeans, to WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia.

This story updates an earlier item with client confirmation of Arnold’s hire. It also corrects that item, which stated that Havas’ MPG would handle media planning chores.