McKinney, Lands’ End Say Goodbye

ATLANTA McKinney + Silver and Lands’ End have parted ways. The Havas-owned agency in a statement said it resigned the account, citing “creative differences.”

“This was a very difficult decision given how much respect we have for the Lands’ End brand,” said McKinney CEO Brad Brinegar in the statement. He declined to elaborate when reached by phone.

A Lands’ End representative called the splilt a “mutual” decision and said the company is considering its options; she did not elaborate.

The client hired Ed Whitehead as chief marketing officer last July. Whitehead had been vp of marketing at Galyan’s, and he assumed duties from Lee Eisenberg, former Lands’ End evp, chief creative and administrative officer, who left in January.

The crux of the creative differences, sources said, stems from Whitehead’s desire to rebrand Lands’ End as a high-end apparel retailer, as opposed to a supplier of outdoor clothes and equipment.

McKinney won the account in October 2002 after a review the included incumbent The Richards Group in Dallas and contender Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis. Lands’ End was the first account McKinney won after Brinegar joined the shop eight months earlier. It’s also the first account he has resigned during his 24-year career in advertising, he said.

Lands’ End, a subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck & Co., spends about $30 million annually on domestic advertising, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMR.