L.L. Bean, JWT Split

NEW YORK JWT is splitting with L.L. Bean, 14 months after the WPP Group shop landed creative duties on the brand, the agency confirmed.

A JWT representative said the split was by mutual agreement and that the relationship was winding down. The rep declined further comment and the Freeport, Maine-based client could not immediately be reached.

JWT in New York produced one TV spot for the client but little else as the outdoor clothing and footwear retailer spent less than expected, said sources.

In terms of major measured media, L.L. Bean spent more than $7 million in the first nine months of 2006, on par with what it spent in the same period last year, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus. Last year’s total spend was around $25 million, per Nielsen.

JWT and sister shop MEC Interaction won creative and media duties, respectively, in September 2005, after a review. The other creative finalists were Omnicom Group’s DDB in New York and Interpublic Group’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. Consultancy Pile and Co. in Boston managed that search.

Media duties will not be affected by the split, sources said. MEC, a division of Mediaedge:cia, declined comment.

Before JWT, creative duties were handled by Omnicom’s Martin/Williams in Minneapolis.