Hip West Coast Shoemaker Shopping for Agency

LOS ANGELES Trendy shoemaker Skechers has been contacting agencies regarding its estimated $30 million advertising account, sources said this week.

The Manhattan Beach, Calif., company designs lifestyle footwear and accessories for men, women and children. Sneakers, boots, casual shoes and other products are marketed under more than a dozen brand names including Skechers USA, Wheelers by Skechers, Somethin’ Else and Skechers Work.

Mark Nason, Skechers’ executive vice president, marketing, referred calls to a media representative. Earlier this week, the rep said she was not aware of any sort of agency search or review, and that the company’s “advertising is done in-house.”

Several shops, however, said they had been contacted by the company for proposals.

In August 2004, Skechers USA broke an international print campaign featuring pop singer Christina Aguilera. That work, entitled “Naughty and Nice,” was created in-house and highlighted the company’s line of women’s footwear.

Other recent advertising includes colorful print and outdoor work emphasizing the shoes’ energy and diversity, with the tagline, “We put the ‘S’ in action.”

In the past, Skechers has also partnered with established fashion labels to design and market branded apparel to be sold in department and specialty stores in the United States and abroad. According to Nielsen-Monitor Plus, Skechers’ total ad budget was $32 million in 2004.