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JWT Wins Sunglass Hut Account

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BOSTON Luxottica Retail today tapped WPP Group's JWT in New York to handle its Sunglass Hut account, the client said.

Independent AR Partners in New York also made a final presentation in the review managed by Boston-based consultancy Pile and Co.

"We believe the strength of the Sunglass Hut brand and the creativity of JWT will be the right fit to establish Sunglass Hut as the sunglass authority for consumers," said Jack Krause, client vp, marketing and merchandising.

Sunglass Hut spends about $3 million annually on ads. The chain had in the past worked with the New York office of independent Taxi, but had no lead agency going into the review.

Cincinnati-based Luxottica recently tapped Boston's Arnold, a unit of Havas, for its estimated $12 million Pearle Vision assignment [Adweek Online, Dec. 8]. Pile also guided that competition.

Pearle has about 900 locations. Sunglass Hut has about 1,500 stores and sells high-end frames (by Luxottica's Ray-Ban and others) as well as wristwatches.

JWT's selection ends an active few months in the designer eyewear category that saw independent Duffy & Shanley in Providence, R.I., add Foster Grant and Omnicom's TBWA\Chiat\Day in San Francisco win Ray-Ban.