L.L. Bean Enters 3 Locals Into Catalog Of Contenders

Incumbent Bronner Slosberg Humphrey last week withdrew from L.L. Bean’s agency review as the client selected a handful of semifinalists.
Now vying for the $20-25 million account are: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston; Mullen in Wenham, Mass.; Toth Design & Advertising in Concord, Mass.; Angotti, Thomas, Hedge and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer/Euro RSCG, both in New York; Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis; and The Richards Group in Dallas.
Boston-based Bronner Slosberg, which has handled the account for the past five years, chose to withdraw before the cut was made, said Skip Pile, president of Pile and Co., the Boston consulting company overseeing the competition.
The semifinalists will present credentials to the Freeport, Maine-based client before a cut to three or four finalists is made in a couple of weeks, Pile said. The remaining contenders will then make creative presentations, with a decision expected by late May or June.
The winning shop will be asked to create television and print campaigns. The client’s direct mail catalog business remains in-house, while its online marketing assignment stays with the Strategic Interactive Group, a unit of Bronner Slosberg.
Of primary import to the client, one of the world’s largest catalog retailers of outdoor clothing and accessories, is the ability to fashion strong branding messages, experience in the apparel and retail categories as well as broadcast capabilities, Pile said.
The three local contenders all boast considerable apparel and retail experience. Hill, Holliday handled the L.L. Bean account prior to Bronner Slosberg and currently has Marshall’s department stores on its roster. Mullen’s long run with Timberland Co. generated campaigns that won numerous creative awards. Until losing the business late last year, Toth created brand and product campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger.