5 Contenders Chase L.L. Bean’s $30 Mil.+ Biz

LOS ANGELES L.L. Bean has briefed five finalists as it reviews creative chores on its estimated $30 million-plus ad account, according to sources.

In the hunt are: independents Modernista! in Boston and Cramer-Krasselt in New York; Omnicom shops GSD&M Idea City in Austin, Texas, and Cutwater in San Francisco; and Havas’ McKinney in Durham, N.C., per sources.

Those five shops received an assignment yesterday from client executives at Bean’s headquarters in Freeport, Maine.
 
Final presentations are slated for April 22-23, with a decision expected by the end of the month. Catherine Bension, Select Resources International, Santa Monica, Calif., has been guiding the process.

Agency, consultancy and client executives either declined comment or could not be reached.

Bean most recently has used creative resources on a project basis but intends to name a lead creative shop once the review concludes.

The client hired Omnicom Group’s Martin/Williams in Minneapolis in 2000 and split with the agency in 2005. WPP Group’s JWT in New York worked with the retailer briefly after that.

WPP Group’s Mediaedge:cia handles media chores, which are not in play.
 
L.L. Bean has spent close to $25 million in U.S. measured media in each of the past two years, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. According to sources, the client intends to spend upwards of $30 million with the new agency.