Dexter Shoe Narrows Field, Begins Talks With 6 Contenders

Dexter Shoe Co. has selected at least six shops to compete in the review for its advertising account, sources said.
Attempting to unseat 11-year incumbent Pagano Schenck & Kay in Boston are: Holland Mark Martin Edmund and Ingalls Advertising, both in Boston; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; and Leonard/Monahan in Providence, R.I., sources said. One undisclosed agency is also believed to be in the hunt.
Dexter officials made preliminary visits to the contending shops last week, sources said. Susan Haviland, vice president of advertising at the Dexter, Maine-based client, declined comment on the list.
Mullen was initially believed to have the inside track on winning the business because it recently hired Bob Pagano, the PS&K co-founder who oversaw award-winning print campaigns for Dexter.
Pagano’s ability to help Mullen snare the account, however, may have been overestimated. Haviland specifically asked that Pagano not be part of the pitch team because she believes recent PS&K efforts had grown stale, sources said. Haviland would not address that issue.
Mullen representatives declined comment. Agency sources confirmed that Pagano was not part of the team of executives who met with Dexter officials last week.
Data from Competitive Media Reporting shows Dexter allocated $1.4 million to media spending last year, but the client plans to increase funding to $5 million for a “worldwide” campaign, sources said.