Gitano Fashions is conducting a review for its ad account, which was resigned by Mullen of Wenham, Mass., last month.
The Bowling Green, Ky.-based client has contacted several agencies about the business, said sources. Among those shops: Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Blum/Herbstreith and Dweck & Campbell, all New York.
Officials at Gitano, which was acquired by Fruit of the Loom out of bankruptcy proceedings in 1994, confirmed the review for the $1-3 million assignment but declined to comment further on the matter. The agencies all declined comment.
Mullen's last work for the client was a print campaign that broke in July 1997. It carried the tagline, "Live outside the lines." One ad showed a grinning woman striding out of a men's bathroom, while another depicted a fully clothed model smiling as she sank to the bottom of a swimming pool.
Apparel Industry Magazine recorded that Gitano had about a 6 percent share of women's branded jeans sold through discount stores between October 1995 and September 1996, the last period for which figures were available. The category is estimated to be worth more than $10 billion overall, according to Fortune.
Women's Wear Daily listed Gitano jeans as the ninth most popular brand for the second half of 1996, but WWD also ranked Gitano as the top young women's discount jeans brand. Gitano's overall sales, which include sportswear, were $300 million in 1996, according to WWD; Jeans accounted for about $60 million of that.
The client's jeans sales had been expected to increase in 1997 to around $125 million as distribution expanded, according to Morgan Stanley & Co. --with Sloane Lucas