Lee Jeans Looks at 9 Agencies

CHICAGO Lee Jeans executives will visit nine semifinalist agencies this week before making another cut in the review for the apparel maker’s $30 million advertising account, according to sources.

Contenders include Omnicom Group’s DDB in New York; Interpublic Group’s Lowe in New York and Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; MDC Partners-backed Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners in New York and Colle + McVoy in Minneapolis; Havas’ Arnold in New York and McKinney + Silver in Durham, N.C.; and independent Cramer-Krasselt in Chicago, sources said. At least one undisclosed agency is also participating in the competition, sources said.

Agency officials either declined comment or could not be reached. AAR Partners, the consultancy running the review, also declined comment. Client officials could not be reached.

A request for proposal had initially gone out to 20-30 agencies from AAR in New York. Incumbent Fallon in Minneapolis, which is owned by Publicis Groupe, resigned the account over “strategic and creative direction” for the brand.

A cut to three or four finalists could come as early as this week, sources said.

Lee is owned by Greensboro, N.C.-based VF Corp.

—with Adweek staff reports