Joe Boxer Starts New Search For An Agency

Underwear and apparel maker Joe Boxer has boosted its ad budget and is restarting its search for an agency to handle national ad duties, said company officials.
The San Francisco-based firm, best known for its wacky men’s underwear, has compiled a list of five undisclosed agencies and expects to name a shop by the end of January. The winner may be awarded creative projects or all creative and media duties, said sources. The client currently handles creative and media chores in-house.
This year Joe Boxer plans to spend $8-15 million on TV and print ads, according to founder and chairman Nicholas Graham, who confirmed the search but declined to identify participating agencies. Previously, the company spent around $3 million annually on marketing.
Luanne Calvert, the company’s marketing manager, joined Joe Boxer about six months ago. She had previously worked as a media director at Black Rocket and Citron Haligman Bedecarrƒ, both in San Francisco. Black Rocket has declined an invitation to pitch, said sources. Calvert and officials at Citron could not be reached.
Joe Boxer has contacted both ad agencies and design shops across the country, said sources.
The client began a review about a year ago [Adweek, Dec. 16, 1996] but later canceled it when its marketing goals shifted. Sources said Hal Riney & Partners and the former Odiorne Wilde Narraway Groome, both in San Francisco, and Lambesis in Del Mar, Calif., had been contacted.
Last month, Graham turned over his chief executive officer title to Martin Kace, a longtime company board member. At the time of his appointment, reports said Kace wanted to give Joe Boxer a stronger international marketing presence.