Lands' End's selection of McKinney + Silver marks the agency's first win under new president Brad Brinegar, who joined the shop eight months ago.
McKinney in Raleigh, N.C., a member of Havas global network Arnold, bested Interpublic Group's Carmichael Lynch in Minneapolis and The Richards Group in Dallas for the $20 million account. Since Brinegar's arrival, three months after the death of shop president Don Maurer, the agency has come up short in four of five reviews, including the finals for Earthlink's $30 million business.
"There wasn't as tight a link between strategy and creative as there should have been," Brinegar said of McKinney's Earthlink pitch.
The agency was recently elimi nated in the second round of Frontier Airlines' ongoing review.
"I'm taking a certain amount of time to know my team and what we should be going after," Brinegar said. "Frontier was the first time we talked about ourselves the way I want to."
The Lands' End win reflects what Brinegar said he wants from his agency—"to take a reasoned approach to who I want as clients and go out for them," he said.
Lands' End vp and creative director Lee Eisenberg called the decision to hire McKinney "pretty unanimous." He also said the shop understood and respected the role of the client's large in-house advertising department.
Creatives at Lands' End can expect to interact regularly with its new agency. Catalog work will continue to be produced in-house, but McKinney will provide the client's creative staff with what Eisenberg called "a series of serves and volleys."
Agency ecd David Baldwin said positioning for Lands' End will not change. "The best thing we can do is create drama around a problem, but they didn't have one," he said. "Their drama is to be who they are."