NEW YORK Levi Strauss has narrowed its review of U.S. creative duties on its core brand to two shops: independent Wieden + Kennedy and Omnicom Group's Cutwater, which has partnered with sibling TBWA\Chiat\Day for the pitch, the client has confirmed.
The cut came after six hopefuls made presentations to client executives earlier this week. No longer in contention are Omnicom's Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, WPP Group units Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam, both in New York, and independent Anomaly in New York, according to a statement that Levi issued late Thursday.
The statement indicated that Cutwater is partnering with TBWA\C\D's office in Playa del Rey, Calif., to pursue the business.
The final selection is expected by the end of the month. Jones Lundin Beals in Chicago is helping to manage the process.
Major media spending on the brand totaled nearly $80 million last year, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
The incumbent, Publicis Groupe-backed Bartle Bogle Hegarty here, is not defending. BBH, which also works on Levi's in Europe and Asia, has handled the domestic account since 2001. Levi's said the U.S. review would not impact those European and Asian assignments, which are handled by BBH in London and Singapore, respectively.
The domestic creative review comes on the heels of a media planning and buying contest for Levi's and sister brand Dockers that Omnicom's OMD in Los Angeles won in October. Jones Lundin managed that process as well.