Levi Strauss Reorganizes Global Ad Responsibilities

By Joan Voight

SAN FRANCISCO–In the race to gain more of Levi Strauss & Co.’s global advertising duties, the client’s European agency, Bartle Bogle Hegarty, has picked up assignments in Asia, Australia and South America.

In the meantime, Foote, Cone & Belding’s San Francisco office, which handles the Levi business in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, has lost media and account management duties in South America and has not picked up any additional global assignments, sources said.

Levi tapped BBH, London, to manage the creative and strategic responsibilities for its Asia-Pacific region, which includes Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, India, Australia, New Zealand and other Asian countries. McCann-Erickson’s Singapore office retains media planning and buying for most of the region. Billings are estimated at $10-15 million.

BBH is handling the business out of its new Singapore office.

‘BBH’s outstanding track record for developing effective and award-winning creative provides the platform for Levi’s to become the brand of choice in Asia,’ said Patricia Royak, vice president of marketing for Levi’s Asia-Pacific division. The assignment was moved without a review.

The success of the agency’s award-winning ‘Clayman’ TV spot for Levi, which has been aired globally, including in the U.S., was a big factor in the decision, said BBH officials.

In South America, BBH handles creative duties for the estimated $2 million account. FCB lost the media portion of the business to a small local agency in a review, according to FCB executives.

Also, Levi has dropped FCB’s Levi’s for Women and its 501 jeans ‘Reasons’ campaigns. The wide leg jeans TV ads will be discontinued in June. They will be replaced with an image campaign, said Levi officials.

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