Agencies believed to have been invited so far include the incumbent, plus L.A. shops Asher/Gould, Klein & LaBrucherie (another former Cherokee shop) and Stein Robaire Helm, plus The Miller Group/Toluca Lake, Calif. While agencies invited to pitch the account were told the company would spend $3-5 million, a spokesperson for Cherokee chairman Robert Margolis told ADWEEK the ad budget was $5-10 million.
The Sunland, Calif.-based Cherokee, a hot brand in the early 1980s, has had its ups and downs in the competitive junior sportswear field. Sales of of $208 million in 1991 fell to $170.7 million in 1992. Then in April, 1993, Cherokee appeared in the No. 3 position on the Los Angeles Times' 'Wall Street's Forlorn' list of companies ranked by percentage loss in stock price. It ranked fifth among companies with the lowest ratio of stock market value to sales.
The company recently reorganized after emerging from Chapter 11 protection within a 45 day period.
Now Cherokee executives are looking for some creative inspiration to help get the company back in action. Cherokee Group vp/marketing Daniel Ryu confirmed that the agency has begun talking to numerous agencies, ranging from full-service shops to creative boutiques in the fashion industry.
'It's not like we're totally unhappy with DBC,' Ryu said. 'You have to catch a unique niche in the market. We're trying to protect our brand equity, and right now there is so much competition. We're trying to get ourselves back into shape.'
Cherokee has done limited TV advertising in the past, and is currently running print and outdoor themed, 'Make yourself comfortable.'
Preliminary meetings with agencies begin this week. Final presentations will take place in July.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)