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Agencies Surface for J. Crew Site

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Several contenders are emerging in J. Crew's search for an agency to handle the July launch of its Web site (j.crew.com). Estimated billings for the Web assignment are $10 million.
A representative at J.Crew in New York confirmed the review but declined to elaborate.
New York shops DiMassimo Brand Advertising and Messner Vetere Berger McNamee Schmetterer Euro/RSCG are contenders, sources indicated, along with undisclosed others. Deutsch and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners, both in New York, were contacted, but declined to participate.
The retailer's in-house team is also in the competition. A decision could come as early as this week, sources said.
The review comes just weeks after J. Crew hired Angotti, Thomas, Hedge here as its first lead agency [Adweek, May 3].
Angotti's first job was to create a fall campaign for the J. Crew brand. Billings for that task were estimated at $10-20 million. The agency, however, was surprised to learn that the client had started talking to other shops about its Web site. That development contributed to Angotti's resignation of its portion of the Crew business in June.
At the time of the split, Angotti president Howard Sherman said the agency and client were "out of sync" and had "different expectations in regard to the working relationship."