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BSS&P Lands Converse Account

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BOSTON Following a review, Nike-owned Converse has selected Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners to handle its ad account. The athletic shoe company in North Andover, Mass., spent about $5 million on ads last year, but the budget could double in 2004.

Butler in Sausalito, Calif., succeeds independent shop Modernista! in Boston. Converse and Modernista! parted in March. Kirshenbaum Bond + Partners and Mother, both in New York, also competed for the Converse account.

The agency said its first work for the client will appear in the summer. "They came to us with a powerful idea that reflects our brand essence and will help us revitalize this great global brand on multiple levels in all our territories. It is way bigger than just an advertising campaign," said said Erick Soderstrom, director of marketing at Converse.

The latest ads from Modernista! broke in November and featured NBA players Chris Bosh (Toronto Raptors), Dwayne Wade (Miami Heat), Mike Sweetney (New York Knicks), Kirk Hinrich (Chicago Bulls) and Troy Bell (Memphis Grizzlies). The effort focuses on their transitions from being college heroes to leading hard-working lives as NBA players. The tag, "The freshman class of the First School," makes reference to Converse's history and also echoes the currently fashionable "old school" trend, the client said.

—Adweek staff report